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r Y OBLIGATION to others 
-for suggestions, encourage- 
ment, and criticisms is very great. I am especially grateful to 
Dr. Lome A. Pierce, of Toronto, for the challenge to survey 
the problem of the lost Churches of China, and for his contin- 
ued counsel throughout this undertaking. My thanks are ex- 
pressed to Dr. Arthur W. Hummel, of the Library of Congress, 
for his gift, during my first years in China, of opening the win- 
dow through which I began to discern the hand of the Eternal 
in China's historic past. I would also especially thank His Holi- 
ness Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII, Catholicos Patriarch of the 
East; and the Rev. Irwin St. John Tucker, St. Stephen's Epis- 
copal Church, Chicago, who have given invaluable data on 
the history of the Nestorians. 

I have leaned heavily on many friends, particularly Dean 
Bernard M. Loomer, and Professors Joachim Wach and Wil- 
helm Pauck, of the Federated Theological Faculty of the Uni- 
versity of Chicago. Professor E. A. Kracke, of the Oriental 
Institute of the University of Chicago, has given valued help 
on the period of the Nestorians. Grateful acknowledgment is 
also made of the suggestions and encouragement received 
from Dean James S. Thomson, of the Faculty of Divinity of 
McGill University; Professor Hugh S. G. Garven, of Glasgow 
University; and Dr. Paul L. Meacham, of Philadelphia. My in- 
debtedness to colleagues and friends is extensive. I am glad to 
express a deep sense of obligation. 

6 Preface 

The greatest assistance has been given by my wife, who has 
been my companion and colleague in all the experiences and 
study involved in this work. The responsibilities for the inade- 
quacies herein rest alone upon the author. These pages are not 
exhaustive. The subject is vast. The nature is complex. The 
defense must be a frank confession like that ascribed by Con- 
fucius to the man " who wished to make his faults few, but 
had not yet succeeded/* 



Preface 5 

Introduction 9 

I. China's Religious Heritage 17 

II. The First Christians in China 31 

III. The Church of the East Meets the Church of the 
West 49 

IV. Missionary Mandarins 67 
V. The Clash of Civilizations 97 

VI. Christianity's Contribution in the Republic 124 

VII. Christendom's Unwitting Contribution to Commu- 
nism 155 

VIII. Conclusion 189 

Appendixes 210 

Notes 225 


CHINA, with nearly one 
fourth of the human race, 

has long been the largest foreign mission field of the Christian 
Churches. The impact of Christianity has extended over thir- 
teen hundred years, from the arrival of the first band of Nes- 
torian missionaries in AJX 635 at the ancient capital of Sian-fu. 
China is where we have attempted to win the world for Christ 
by the greatest investment in institutions and missionary per- 
sonnel that the Church has ever made in any mission field. 
Today, China creates in our minds disappointment and dis- 
illusionment. It would be unfair to allow this mood to vitiate 
our sense of responsibility or to dull the vision of the mis- 
sionary task of the Church, even though in the middle of the 
twentieth century we are witnessing the fifth expulsion of mis- 
sionaries from China. Each of these upheavals has resulted in 
the massacre and persecution of Christians. Never before has 
the missionary enterprise faced such colossal losses as cur- 
rently experienced in China. It has been a sobering experience 
to watch the rising tide of Communism engulfing this greatest 
field of missionary endeavor. 

Missionaries in China often have set up for themselves and 
their supporting Churches great expectations. At times en- 
thusiasm has substituted hopes and idealism for reality. We 
have dreamed of a world so far saved that it could not be lost 

o rfrji-r-k oTi/Vr oc trie* friTOYrh *f"r\ o^TrhTrxr cl/"\ffQ"n i^ric* tfvuQTirToiTT'O 

10 Introduction 

tion of the world in this generation." l There is, however, no 
warrant for any such expectation, either in the Gospels or in 
the history of mankind. History has a faculty for repeating it- 
self. The Church of this age is confronted with psychological 
conflicts that challenge Christians to discover a new point of 
departure from which they must seek in new ways to find 
again the abiding essence of Christianity. Lost Churches are 
in need of new truth; at least they need the rediscovery of an- 
cient truths which are often new to present-day experience. 
Whenever one speaks of new truth, there is distress in some 
quarters, and an arousing of the protective spirit to former 
loyalties. Nevertheless, there exists today the most urgent need 
for a clarification of the essential issues that are involved in 
Christian missions in China. At the same time guard should 
be taken against two extreme views lest we fail to see the 
panorama of the Church because of its varied forms. 

" A caution must be held against the radically exclusive position 
which sees all truth and all good and the beautiful in one, usually 
in his own community, treating the rest unqualifiedly with con- 
tempt or neglect. 

"The other is an equally radical relativism, for which all the 
historical, sociological formations of Christianity are equally good 
or equally bad, and which in consequence is too timid or skeptical 
to commit itself to any one form or ideal." 2 

Toynbee holds that human societies are merely "the com- 
mon ground between the respective fields of activity of a num- 
ber of individual human beings." 3 Thus, we will proceed to 
treat the five periods of missionary work in China as a " com- 
mon ground." Only in this way is it possible to discern that no 
one sector of the Church has ever held a mortgage on truth, nor 
has any part of the movement been free from human errors. 
The witness of the Christian gospel in China is a matchless 
story, as Browning puts it, " all with a touch of nobleness up- 
ward tending." The witness has never failed. Repeatedly the 
light has shone forth in the darkness, held aloft by hands that 
perished in the destruction of the institution that failed. Chris- 
tians tend to defend the institutions of their own creation with 

Introduction 11 

tenacity. It is institutional Christianity that repeatedly shackles 
the Church. The Church again and again has to lose itself in 
order to find itself. It falls to rise; it fails in order to fight bet- 
ter. Many of the missionary institutions of the Church are ex- 
pendable. They all should always be treated as expendable. 
The Churches of the West must be prepared to forget their 
material investment in institutional Christianity. Too often it 
has given an erroneous impression. 

The panorama of thirteen centuries of Christian effort in 
China has its weird events, such as the banishment of mis- 
sionaries who unwittingly founded academies of anarchy, and 
the plowing of fields that were dormant for centuries only to 
discover that an enemy came by night and sowed tares among 
the wheat. Nevertheless, there is real cause for hope in the 
realization of having lost the way. This is the first step toward 
finding it. Certainly the Church in China will never again be 
controlled by missionaries of the West. A few of the more pro- 
gressive Mission Boards have already recognized this, and 
their missionaries have worked under the direction of the Chi- 
nese Church in recent years. The future will require that this 
policy be uniformly followed. 

The present attempt of the Communist Government to con- 
trol the Churches of China confronts every Chinese Christian 
with decisions that often hold life in the balance. Many have 
already given their lives for their faith. One thing can be cer- 
tain: titie Church that emerges from this hour of testing will 
not be a dependency. Chinese Christians dislike the irresponsi- 
bility of many of their Christian leaders who have attempted 
to reconcile the Churches of China with Communism. Simi- 
larly the Churches of the West find it impossible to understand 
the brutality of many trained in Christian schools and the 
treachery and heresy of cherished leaders. These will have 
their day and become a byword. They have not been without 
their counterparts among the few missionaries who loved the 
limelight and felt called to make themselves protagonists of 
Chinese political parties. 

12 Introduction 

The Christian Church, has always been a minority religion. 
The martyrs of China have kept faith with the catacombs. 
Crisis has been the meat and drink of the Church. Out of one 
came the cross. Only in this faith can the Church be conscious 
and confident that what came out of Nazareth goes march- 
ing on. 

Thus it becomes an issue of immediate importance that the 
Church recognize its blunders, abandon its errors, and prepare 
itself to grasp the opportunity in the present crisis to seek and 
save that which is lost. This is a God-given opportunity for 
Christians to gain a new perspective, arid from such vantage 
point to formulate new techniques. The Christian Church must 
not be content with mere changes in missionary methods. 
There is no inherent value in " newness " per se. It is supremely 
important that the "new" approach be a more faithful ad- 
herence to Jesus than many of the portrayals of Christianity 
evidenced in China in the past. 

The Chinese language contains many word combinations 
that hold profound psychological import. The English word 
** crisis " presented a problem in translation. It required the 
creation of a new idea, given expression by combining the 
characters for " danger " and " opportunity." Where these two 
factors coexist, the condition is a crisis. The Chinese are thus 
unable to think in terms of a crisis without immediately seek- 
ing for the opportunity that is hidden in the danger. It is of 
paramount importance that in facing this danger Christians do 
not overlook the opportunity within the crisis. We can think 
of the present losses in China as the will of God or as the work 
of the devil. Many people have permitted themselves to make 
an oversimplification of the problem, in which the Communists 
are the scapegoat and the modern devil. It is easy to dismiss 
the present crisis as a result of uncontrollable political factors, 
but more sober reflection discerns the tragedy as a painful but 
necessary medicine and a judgment of the God of history. 
Those of us who have been missionaries in China must think 
of this hour as a judgment upon our work and upon ourselves. 

Introduction 13 

It must be realized that the end, when it came, was a dramatic 
demonstration of many weaknesses. If Communism had not 
arisen to cast the Christian missionaries out of China, some 
other movement would have done it. What has already oc- 
curred in China could happen in other mission fields of Asia 
and Africa. This situation demands searching examination, 
with a quality of humility that will enable a recognition by 
Christians of their responsibility in these losses and the unwit- 
ting contribution of Christendom to the rise of Communism. 
The present crisis is, for the Christian, an agency in the deep- 
ening of his religious respiration. If it be regarded as the work 
of the Holy Spirit in leading the Church into further regions of 
truth, then there is reason to believe that this tragedy can lead 
to triumph. To believe otherwise would be to deny the most 
profound utterance in the Gospels: "For the Son of man is 
come to save that which was lost." 

The essence of Christianity is contained in the four words 
that were so frequently used by Jesus: "Repent," "Believe," 
" Love," " Enter." The first step in the discovery of the ways 
of God is repentance. This does not occur until there is a rec- 
ognition of the sense of being " lost." There should be no sug- 
gestion of irrecoverable loss in the Churches of China, nor 
should there be any thought of irrevocable lostness. There is, 
however, the humble and searching suggestion of our having 
lost " the way." This may be likened to the state of mind of 
one who begins to feel that he has been worshiping a false god, 
placing some creature of his own creation in the place of the 
Creator. This sense of lostness is but the yearning for a bet- 
ter vision of the truth. It is important that precise definitions 
be set down for clarification. For our purpose the idea ** lost " 
in reference to the Churches of China means: (1) no longer 
possessed or retained, (2) no longer to be found, (3) be- 
wildered as to place or direction, (4) destroyed or ruined. 
Courage should be taken, however, in the fact that the phe- 
nomenon of being lost has a function to perform in the growth 
of faith. Not until the Church humbly recognizes that it has 

14 Introduction 

lost its way will it be capable of the repentance that alone can 
enable it to rediscover the ways of God. " The perception and 
knowledge of the ways of God imply that we have a criterion 
by which to ascertain the work of God and to distinguish this 
work from all other happenings." 4 It is thus important to de- 
fine what may be employed as a criterion in determining 
what right a given happening or experience may have to the 
claim of being Christian or a work of God. 

Modern Christians are compelled by the facts of their physi- 
cal environment to be concerned in the welfare of a world fam- 
ily of peoples. Although confronted by this demand for ecu- 
menicity, the Christian Church is at the same time faced with 
the gamut of varying customs and conflicting conscience codes 
that emerge in a world clash of cultures. Whenever there is 
concern for the development of a world ethic, or ** common 
ethical frame of reference/' 5 there must be a recognition that 
a common foundation of moral principles and practice is the 
criterion by which Christians may be known throughout the 
world. Comparative study is valueless without a valid cri- 
terion. When the disciples requested Jesus to teach them how 
to pray, it was not that they were unfamiliar with the form of 
prayer, but that they had discerned in the life and manner of 
Jesus an entirely new quality of prayer, which was a com- 
plete communion with God. In his answer, Jesus taught the 
Lord's Prayer. To this model prayer were added the reasons: 
"For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory" 
(Matt. 6:13). These eleven words constitute the criterion by 
which it may be determined whether a Church has a valid 
claim to being called Christian or whether it is " lost." History 
reveals that whenever the Church becomes unmindful of its 
divine origin and dreams of things as " ours " instead of 
* Thine," it is lost and disaster overwhelms it. Our frail hu- 
manity admires the manifestations of power. Even churchmen 
succumb to its attractions that is, when the Church is not a 
victim of power. Whenever Christianity seeks to accelerate the 
coming of the Kingdom of God by political action through 

Introduction 15 

the exercise of power or influence of the organized Church, 
it needs to heed the caution given Zerubbabel: " Not by might, 
nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts 
(Zech. 4:6). 

It must be admitted that contemporary Christianity plainly 
envies social and national movements their patriotic fervor and 
prestige and power. 6 This envy is a confession that Christianity 
has lost its grip upon its own sources of spiritual vitality. 

" As Christianity is the best organized of all religions, and in its 
catholic (or world-wide forms) most adequate to the idea of the 
Church, so it is most of all in danger of the corruptions attending 
organizations. ... If it cannot clean the stables or priestly greeds, 
political venalities in high places, connivance in the ambitions of 
states, and the silent suave corporate purchasing of mentality and 
conscience by posts and preferments, it not only surrenders much 
of its ascendancy over the human spirit, but ripens for such days of 
wrath as overtook the Church of Russia." 7 

The question arises as to what were the chief factors in each 
of these disasters that have brought recurring losses to the 
Churches of China, and whether there is any similarity or repe- 
tition in these occurrences. A search of the historical record re- 
veals an amazing similarity in some of the chief causes of fric- 
tion, so glaring that they issue an imperative to all Christians 
to face causal factors. 

In this book the historical record is traced to discover why 
the Christian Church has again suffered catastrophic loss in 
China, and to ascertain what are the recurring factors that 
contribute to these recurring losses. The value of such a quest 
is important to those who are still interested in the continuity 
of the Christian Church in China, Our concern in the present 
work is only with those pertinent events that are here recorded, 
in order to exhibit their significance and not merely their 
occurrence. This analysis attempts to evaluate these historical 
events in order to ascertain the truth that lies in the cause, but 
that has too often been obscured in the results. 



"UCH of the misunder- 
L standing in Occidental 
minds regarding China arises from Western insistence for im- 
mediate decisions in the light of current situations. Such deci- 
sions have repeatedly violated the most cherished traditions 
of China, where all thought is saturated with reverence for the 
past. It is, therefore, of first importance that those who would 
understand the problems confronting Christianity in China 
should pause sufficiently to gain some appreciation of those 
forces which, for many centuries, have been continually pres- 
ent in Chinese thought. One of the most recurring causes of 
loss to the Christian Church is that the expression of Christian- 
ity most frequently manifested to the Chinese has been so ut- 
terly foreign to them. In periods of antiforeign sentiment the 
Church that has not demonstrated any appreciation of the 
truths and values of China's own religious and cultural past 
inevitably suffers loss. It is not merely to avoid further losses, 
but because of the conviction that the Church cannot be Chris- 
tian otherwise, that this chapter sets forth the reasons why 
Christianity must develop a full cultural appreciation of the 
values in China's religious heritage, in order that the Chris- 
tian Church in China may be truly indigenous. China's moral 
background has given her people a stability that has enabled 
them to survive when surrounding cultures have tumbled into 
ruin. The author recalls entering the capital, Kwei-hua-t'ing, of 
Sui-yuan province. The majestic walls of the city rise above the 

18 The Lost Churches of China 

sandy stretches of the Gobi desert that reach northward to- 
ward Inner Mongolia. Carved over the North Gate are the im- 
pressive characters giving the name of the city, " Entrance to 
Civilization! " To the ancient Chinese, outside the borders of 
China all were barbarians. China was paternally tolerant of 
the outer world. When the first Christian missionaries arrived 
in China, they found a highly developed and organized politi- 
cal entity, living a completely self-contained existence behind 
a wall of isolationism. China was more than a nation. It was a 
closed world. 

It may be said with some justice that Chinese religious con- 
cepts begin in antiquity with animism, develop into ancestor 
worship and the worship of heaven and earth and spirits, and 
culminate in what may be called nature theism. The early an- 
cestors found the animus in nature which in time became the 
basis of ancestor worship. The Chinese have sometimes been 
described as irreligious, since they do not care about particular- 
ities of doctrine and form. To them theological controversies 
and denominations cannot have at any time any very deep 
meaning. The mass of the people are grossly commercial and 
calculating in their religious life, since they often trade their 
gods for prosperity, posterity, and long life by means of meager 
sacrificial offerings. The religious conceptions of the Chinese 
have undergone many changes from time to time, but through- 
out all the changes the spirit of reverence for the past remains. 
We may criticize Chinese society as having failed through the 
centuries to practice the ethical teaching of its great sages, 
Lao Tzu, Kung Fu-tzu (Confucius), Meng Tzu (Mencius), 
and Moh Tzu, in any degree approaching the concepts origin- 
ally held by these great thinkers. But it is equally true that the 
Jews often failed to observe the exhortations of their prophets, 
Isaiah, Micah, and Amos, who urged their people to abandon 
idolatrous practices and return to the observance of the law 
given by Moses. The fact that the Jews in the days of Christ 
had failed to keep the teachings of their sages as a vital quality 
in daily life, even to the degree that blinded them to the mes- 

Chinas Religious Heritage 19 

sage of Jesus, does not deter us from cherishing, to this day, the 
ethical teachings of the Old Testament. Christian concepts of 
God are not originally Anglo-Saxon. Indeed they are a synthe- 
sis, principally of Hebrew, Syrian, Roman, Greek, and Anglo- 
Saxon experience. In marked contrast, the Chinese ideas of the 
Supreme Being, as found in their classics, are the indigenous 
product of China's own experience. 

The emphasis of China's wisdom literature tends to be more 
humanistic than theistic, but there are sections of the Bible, in 
the Old Testament, that are not so theistic as others. Truth, 
whether found in the Analects of Confucius or in the sayings 
of Lao Tzu, must be acclaimed by Christians as imperishable. 
To do less contradicts the stand taken by Jesus, who declared 
that he had not come to destroy but only to fulfill. The attitude 
of many missionaries toward the ethical teachings of China is 
an exceedingly difficult one to interpret without danger of 
misunderstanding. One would prefer to avoid it, because to 
many Christians in the West the cause of the evangelization 
of the "heathen" is so important that it is placed at the 
pinnacle to which the energies of Christendom should be con- 
secrated. But the Christian missionary movement has contrib- 
uted so great a force in undermining the prestige of Confucius 
in China that this disturbing fact simply cannot be ignored. 
There are notable instances of Roman Catholic and Protestant 
missionaries who have taken the necessary time to understand 
the Chinese classics and who have entered into an apprecia- 
tion of their values. But the number of such objective minds 
is too few. Most missionaries have been primarily evangelists, 
educators, physicians, nurses, or scientists. The pressure of 
their assigned duties left little, if any, time for sympathetic 
study of Chinese culture. Missionaries have been far from 
unanimous in their estimates of China's religious heritage; 
they have differed among themselves regarding the teachings 
of Confucius. Many have felt it was a serious obstacle to the 
spread of the Christian faith. Buddhism and Taoism were de- 
caying forces in China which Christianity has largely disre- 

20 The Lost Churches of China 

garded, but Confucian ethics, with a lofty code of morals and 
a high prestige among all classes, presented grave problems. 
"Pioneer missionaries came to China more or less with the 
attitude that whatever of religion was already here was the 
work of the Evil One." x 

However varied and delicate the fabric of Confucian thought, 
it was originally expressed very simply. Confucius' writings 
are acknowledged to be compilations and editing of the wisdom 
of the past which reached back to the Golden Age of Yao and 
Shun. 2 If his teachings have been hidden by embellishments 
and additions which at times distorted their truth or if his 
teachings have not been fully followed in every generation, 
this does not detract from the truth or value of his original 
principles. For instance: "The master said, there are three 
things of which the superior man stands in awe. He stands in 
awe of the ordinances of Heaven. He stands in awe of great 
men. He stands in awe of the words of the sages. The mean 
man does not know the ordinances of Heaven, and conse- 
quently does not stand in awe of them." 3 

According to W. Morgan's definition of religion, Confucius 
should be given a high rating as a religious thinker: 

"To love and possess God is to love and possess truth, beauty 
and goodness, and to know and feel that on these realities the uni- 
verse is founded, is to have religion. . . . Religious faith can be 
described as a trust in the rational, the beautiful, and above all, the 
good, as the ultimate in the universe." 4 

Even though Confucius be recognized as a profoundly reli- 
gious man, yet he did not found a religion. The ceremonies in 
honor of Confucius which were developed several centuries 
after his death would have shocked him. However, most 
writers in the field of comparative religions have considered 
Confucianism as one of the religions of China. It would be 
more nearly correct to say that the animism that existed in 
China as a religion at the time of Confucius, and for centuries 
before him, continued to be practiced by both the illiterate 
peasants and the literati for centuries after him. His own 

Chinas Religious Heritage 21 

attitude regarding the nature of God is perhaps best described 
by employing a saying of Saint Augustine: "We can know 
what God is not; we cannot know what He is/ 7 5 

Hocking rightly says, " Confucianism is a minimal theism, 
leaving in its wake the hunger of unanswered questioning." 6 
Matteo Ricci, of the seventeenth century, grasped this truth 
and courageously blazed a trail of cultural appreciation that 
the Roman Church was not prepared to follow. In the nine- 
teenth and twentieth centuries it fell to Protestant mission- 
aries to pick up the torch held aloft by the great Jesuit scholar 
and employ the noblest ideas of Confucius as the Christian con- 
ception of God in the Chinese language. Eicci was the first 
to advocate this but had been overruled by Rome. Where else 
would one go to find an adequate vehicle to transmit the idea 
of God except to search the wisdom literature of China for its 
loftiest concept? It was thus that " Shang Ti " was taken from 
the Confucian classics, meaning the " Spirit above all Spirits." 
Likewise, Christians have taken the ancient term of Confucius 
for Supreme Being, "Tien," which was so frequently used 
interchangeably with " Heaven," and coupled with the word 
"Fu," Father. This combination, "Tien Fu," is used in the 
Lord's Prayer. In the use of the term " Shang Ti,* did Con- 
fucius mean a personal God, or a mere force, or an anthropo- 
morphic ancestor? What did he mean in the use of " Tien '? 
Was it just the material sky or did it refer to the Lord of heaven 
and earth? When Confucius said, * Tien hsia shih i chia," did 
he mean the literal translation that all under the panoply of 
heaven are one family, or did he conceive the loftier idea that 
all men are the children of one Heavenly Father? Religious 
thought to the Chinese has been so overshadowed with animism 
and anthropomorphic ideas, rather than speculative and theo- 
centric ideas, that it was natural for those missionaries who re- 
sponded to their first impressions of China to dismiss all its 
religious practices as incompatible with Christianity. On ques- 
tioning friendly Chinese regarding the meaning of these terms, 
they were amazed that the Chinese held no precise or fixed 

22 The Lost Churches of China 

opinions on these subjects. China has not produced any great 
theologian who set his heart on trying to understand the attri- 
butes of Deity or the genesis of the universe. 

Confucius stands in the midst of bewildering gropings of the 
common people and gives utterance to moral and ethical teach- 
ings that have endeared him to countless millions across twenty- 
five hundred years. 

" Those who criticize Confucius because he made no implicit 
or precise statement regarding the nature of God forget that un Dieu 
defini no longer intrigues the human mind and soon becomes in 
danger of being treated by men as un Dieu fini" 7 

The secret of Confucius lies in the strength and power of the 
highest type of true greatness, namely, in the moral sphere. 
Faithfulness and truthfulness were the groundwork of all his 
teachings. Legge affirms that the status of Confucius is of a 
sage, of the same order as the simplest and least advanced of 
mankind, and that the ordinary man is the potential equal of 
Confucius. 8 

** Regarding his belief in a Supreme Being ... he felt from the 
perfect wisdom which he saw everywhere manifest throughout the 
universe that there must be a supreme overruling power governing 
in all things, which power he styled * The Will of Heaven/ To this 
Power he felt * profoundly reverent and humbly submissive/ " 9 

Because Confucius had very little to say about the future 
life and refrained from discussing supernatural things, and 
because many forms of animistic worship still prevail, there is 
a popular misconception that the Chinese are atheistic. " Con- 
fucius was not at all atheistic. Not only did he recognize the 
existence of a Supreme Being of the universe, whom he some- 
times referred to as 'Heaven' (Tien) and sometimes as the 
'Supreme Ruler' (Shang Ti), but he took it for granted 
that everybody would agree with him on this point." 10 There 
are many pages in the Confucian classics that illustrate deep 
religious feeling. One of the most striking is that which re- 
cords Confucius' answer to someone who asked him to explain 
the meaning of a certain popular saying: "To propitiate the 

Chinas Religious Heritage 23 

divinity of the cooking stove is more effective than to propitiate 
the divinity of the inner rooms." Confucius replied: "It is 
useless to pray to such as these. . . . Address your prayers to 
God alone. If he rejects them there is no other deity to whom 
you may pray." n 

Tradition has set Confucius upon a pedestal and has em- 
ployed his name to lay down rules for men to foEow, but the 
classics reveal that he studiously refrained from imposing any 
rules because he believed that every man should think for 
himself. The whole genius of his philosophy was that every 
man could and should become a superior man through the 
process of self-discipline. To him, what a man was like at birth 
was an accident over which he had no control, but if by sheer 
determination and self-discipline he should die a scholar, it 
was a mark of human achievement excelling all else in man's 

Historically, it should be noted that Confucius failed to re- 
store order in his time. His ideas were not popular in his own 
day. The Chou dynasty continued to decline, and chaos pre- 
vailed until the ascendancy of the Chin dynasty. It was not 
until the Han dynasty that the teachings of Confucius obtained 
a hold on the Chinese which continued to very recent times. 
By millions in China, he has been looked upon for many cen- 
turies as the greatest man that ever lived, " His philosophy had 
a potent force in the development of some of the basic social 
and political conceptions of both East and West. He is de- 
scribed as being completely unoriginal but rather a transmitter 
of the values of antiquity which he had both appreciated, 
assimilated and collated in the classics, which are attributed to 
his editorship and thus are transmitted in a cohesive form to 
posterity." 12 A duke who sought advice from Confucius asked, 
" Is there a single sentence that can ruin the country? " Con^ 
fucius replied: " If a ruler's words be good, is it not also good 
that no one oppose them? But if they are not good and no one 
oppose them, may there not be expected from this one sen- 
tence the ruin of his country? " 13 The Chinese have always cited 

24 The Lost Churches of China 

this admonition of Confucius to justify an uprising of the peo- 
ple against a corrupt government. The emperor reigned as the 
" Son of Heaven " so long as he ruled in accord with the prin- 
ciples of virtue and benevolence. He forfeited his right to the 
throne and ceased to be considered the Son of Heaven when- 
ever he was guilty of unseemly conduct and the aggrieved peo- 
ple could find a leader to organize them for victory. The voice 
of the people was construed to be the indisputable will of 
heaven. 14 There are those who erroneously accuse Confucius of 
seeking to bolster the authority of the hereditary aristocracy, 
yet he advocated such social and political reforms that he must 
be counted among the greatest revolutionary leaders of the 

" If a superior man love propriety, the people will not dare not 
to be reverent. If he love righteousness, me people will not dare 
not to submit to his example. If he love good faith, the people will 
not dare not to be sincere. Now, when these things obtain, the peo- 
ple from all quarters will come to him, bearing their children on 
their backs." 15 

Within a few centuries after Confucius' death the hereditary 
aristocracy had ceased to exist in China. He more than any- 
one else had contributed the psychological changes that 
brought about its destruction. He created in its stead an aristoc- 
racy of achievement, particularly in the realm of letters. 

The teachings of Lao Tzu, born a half century before Con- 
fucius, contain even loftier and more spiritual values than any 
found in the writings of Confucius. The tragedy is that Con- 
fucius was so eminently practical that the more spiritual 
thoughts of Lao Tzu were submerged and to a large degree 
lost for many centuries. Taoism was never founded by Lao 
Tzu. The chief effect of Taoism, with its multiplicity of deities 
and vain attempt to compete with Buddhism, was to obscure 
the true teachings of Lao Tzu, who was the " least racial and 
most universal writer China has ever produced.*' 16 

"No one who is interested in religion can afford to leave 

China's Religious Heritage 25 

unread Lao Tzu's Tao Teh King." 17 Lao Tzu's most beautiful 
thought is found in his conception of the "Tao" (the Way). 
He mentioned the three distinguishing qualities of the pos- 
sessor: " I have three precious things which I prize and hold 
fast. The first is gentleness; the second is economy; the third 
is shrinking from taking precedence of others. With that gentle- 
ness I can be bold; with that economy I can be liberal; shrink- 
ing from taking precedence of others, I can become a vessel 
of the highest honor." 1S Those who rejoice with the writer to 
the Hebrews that God has spoken to different races and ages 
* at sundry times and in divers manners * (Heb. 1:1) expect to 
meet earnest and courageous seekers of God in all lands and 
among all peoples, and that he is being found by them (Amos 
9:7). The idea of " Logos " as identified with the Supreme Be- 
ing was familiar to the Greeks. The Stoics identified it with the 
cosmos. Plato at times agrees with this idea of a cosmic ruler. 
Philo used it as expressive of God. But in none of these in- 
stances was it clearly conceived of as personal, It was the 
writer of the Fourth Gospel who gave the full meaning to 
" Logos " by affirming that it had appeared in the flesh. In 
a similar way the translators of the Fourth Gospel into Chinese 
have affirmed that Jesus Christ has come as the fulfilhnent of 
the Chinese religious yearning embodied in Lao Tzu's " Tao." 
The widespread influence of Lao Tzu's philosophy thirteen 
hundred years after his death is seen in a poem, " Peaceful Old 
Age," by Po Chii-i, A.D. 772-846, from which the following lines 
are taken: 

" Swiftly and soon the golden sun goes down, 
The blue sky wells afar into the night. 

* Tao * is the changeful world's environment; 
Happy are they that in its laws delight. 

* Tao * gives me toil, youth's passion to achieve, 
And leisure in life's autumn and decay. 

I follow * Tao ' the seasons are my friends; 
Opposing it misfortunes come my way. 
If I depart I cast no look behind: 
Still wed to life, I still am free from care 
Since life and death in cycles come and go, 

26 The Lost Churches of China 

Of little moment are the days to spare. 
Thus strong in faith I wait, and long to be 
One with the pulsings of Eternity." 19 

Lao Tzu preaches the necessity of becoming like unto a little 
child, of returning to primitive simplicity and purity, of non- 
assertion and nonresistance, and promises that the deficient 
will be made entire, the crooked will be straightened, the 
empty will be filled, the worn will be renewed, those who have 
too little will receive, while those who have too much will be 
bewildered. Lao Tzu's Tao Teh King contains so many sur- 
prising analogies with Christian thought and sentiment that 
were its authenticity in doubt, one would be inclined to look 
for evidences of a later authorship and Christian influence. 
But it undeniably belongs to the sixth century before Christ. 20 

Whatever may be the origin of such an exalted and noble 
idea, the fact is undeniable that as far back as we can go the 
Chinese believed in a Supreme Being, a God, who stood out 
as a clear and vivid personality separated from the rest of 
spiritual beings by the uniqueness of his character and power. 

Confucius spoke of " Shang Ti" Lao Tzu spoke of " Tao." 
This fact made it easier for the translators of the Bible into 
Chinese to do much as was done in ancient Greece and Rome, 
namely, to take the noblest concepts of God that existed and 
give them Christian significance. This was not plagiarism but 
consistent with the Christian faith that there is only one God, 
by whatsoever name he may be known. But acceptance of this 
truth must logically be accompanied by respect for the Chinese 
sages who also apprehended it. The non-Christian Chinese 
upon seeing a copy of the Chinese Bible is arrested by the dis- 
covery in the first chapter of Genesis that " in the beginning 
Shang Ti made the world." As the pages are turned to the New 
Testament, in the opening of the Fourth Gospel the reader is 
again held by the affirmation that the " Tao " of which Lao Tzu 
wrote six hundred years before Christ has indeed walked in 
the flesh, and men have beheld his glory, full of grace and 

Chinas Religions Herbage 27 

It is a sorry commentary on Christianity that although it pro- 
duced scholars who translated the Bible faithfully by adapt- 
ing the idea of " Shang Ti * from Confucius and the idea of 
" Tao * from Lao Tzu, yet the use of these terms by the Church 
has not been accompanied by the same degree of appreciation 
that the translators had for the teachings of the great sages who 
first conceived them. The missionaries were dependent on 
these terms to make real their message. The Church must face 
the glaring fact that Chinese students are quick to discern the 
incredible incongruity in this situation. The terms used for God 
in the Chinese version of the Bible are not the terms used by 
Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, or Jesus. They are 
the thoughts of Confucius and Lao Tzu, woven into the Chi- 
nese Bible to give meaning to God and Jesus. 

Every missionary is indebted to Legge's translation of the 
Chinese classics. 21 But a caution was given by Sir Reginald 
Johnston, when professor of Chinese in the University of Lon- 
don, who noted that Legge wrote wistfully, expressing the hope 
that a Christian scholar someday would produce a commentary, 
for the benefit of Chinese, which would " clearly and minutely " 
uncover the errors in the Chinese ideas of the constitution of 
nature and providence. Legge hoped that " from this ground 
we might go on to shake the stronghold of their confidence in 
all the ancient teachings and the wisdom of their so-called 
sages." ** In such effort to shake the confidence of the Chinese 
in their cultural past, missionaries were only faithful to the con- 
victions of the supporting Churches in the West which had sent 
them to China. But unless the Christian Church humbly and 
loyally acknowledges its debt to Chinas sages for the terms 
used for God and the Son Incarnate, found in the Chinese 
translation of the Bible, it is guilty of theft of the noblest ideas 
of Lao Tzu and Confucius while attempting to supplant them 
in their own land. 

" The strategy of the apostle Paul in his first missionary journeys 
is the supreme example that should have been followed by the 
Church in its modern missionary endeavour. If the Church of the 

26 The Lost Churches of China 

first five centuries had followed the methods often employed in 
the earlier part of the twentieth century, it would be reasonable to 
expect that small and feeble communities of Christians might in- 
deed have established themselves on the fringes of Roman society 
but they would have remained as foreign to the life of that society 
as the Jewish communities of the Diaspora." 23 

The ancient religious concepts of China are considerably 
higher than those of our own forefathers before Roman civi- 
lization and Christianity made their contribution in the coun- 
tries of Europe and the British Isles. The Romans found it 
necessary to prohibit by law the widespread sacrifice of hu- 
man beings that they found to be prevalent in Europe and 
Wales. 24 Cicero claimed that " Socrates was the first to fetch 
philosophy from heaven and bring it down into the cities and 
houses of men, compelling them to inquire about life, and 
morality, and good and evil." But no one in Europe, including 
Cicero, had heard of Confucius or Lao Tzu, both of whom had 
lived and died before Socrates was born. Lao Tzu preceded 
Confucius. Confucius died in 479 B.C. Socrates was born about 
470 B.C. 

Very little reference is made in this chapter to Buddhism be- 
cause it does not rightly belong to China's religious heritage. 
It came to China nearly nineteen hundred years ago from 
India, at a time when Chinese life presented an aching void 
in religious things. The people had suffered greatly from the 
suppression of the teachings of Confucius, the destruction of 
the classics, and persecution of the scholars under the Chin 
dynasty. The Chinese turned to Buddhism to satisfy their 
religious aspirations. The people were hungry for religion, and 
Buddhism was the best religion that they found. And yet Bud- 
dhism does not seem to be inherently adapted to the practical 
Chinese; it is too otherworldly. It renounces this world and seeks 
satisfaction in the ideal realm quite the opposite from Con- 
fucius. Christianity and Confucius have much more in common 
than Confucianism and Buddhism. The development of Neo- 
Confucianism in the Sung dynasty was an attempt to national- 
ize Buddhism by assimilating into the Confucian system the 

China's Religious Heritage 29 

elements in Buddhism that appealed to the Chinese. " Buddhism 
alone could never be sufficient religion for China, because it 
lacks moral and particular relation to Chinese culture/* 25 

Christianity must not take false comfort from the disintegra- 
tion of China's religious past. 20 Instead the Church should be 
alarmed by it. There are those who have erroneously thought 
that this development indicated a day of opportunity for the 
Christian Church to supplant the former religions. Christians 
are duty bound to apply the attitude of Jesus to the truths in 
China's religious heritage. When this is done, the Church will 
become what Jesus proclaimed, namely, not the means of 
destruction, but the fulfillment of the noblest aspirations of the 
oldest civilization in existence. A great deal has been written 
regarding the importance of establishing an indigenous Church 
in China. In some cases this seems to mean a Church managed 
or directed by Chinese, but if the Chinese who are given the 
responsibility of this direction have first been divorced from 
an adequate appreciation of their own religious heritage, how 
can they help to build an indigenous Church? The Chinese 
equivalent of indigenous means literally " local grass roots " 
This implies much more than a Western form of Christianity, 
led by Chinese with a Western message. The indigenous 
Church must grow upon the roots that God alone has planted 
in human hearts. This makes it imperative that the Church 
enter into an appreciation of China's religious heritage. 27 

Modern Christians need to take their stand beside Clement 
of Alexandria, who believed that God had one great plan for 
saving the world in which Christianity was the final fulfillment, 
but he refused to believe that Judaism was the only divine prep- 
aration for it 

China stands at this hour in crucial need of a champion of 
its ancient truths. The Christian Church can claim this privi- 
lege with justice in that Christianity is a religion born in Asia 
and already rooted upon China's historic past by those early 
missionaries who pioneered in cultural adaptation. If organized 
Christianity is unable to manifest sufficient humility to set 

80 The Lost Churches of China 

Christ free in China, free from the restrictive theological con- 
trols placed upon missionary work for many years by support- 
ing agencies, then the hour has come for Christians in China 
to declare boldly that the Christian faith for them is indisso- 
lubly joined with China's religious heritage, and defend their 
action by the words of Christ: " I am not come to destroy, but 
to fulfil." 

The future of missionary work in China will belong to those 
missions and missionaries prepared to co-operate with Chinese 
Christians in this great venture of faith " to seek and to save 
that which was lost/' In the succeeding chapters the successive 
periods in which Christianity has been active in Chinese his- 
tory are examined, setting forth the reasons for its recurring 
losses, and finally lifting into prominence the crisis that con- 
fronts the Christian Church in the middle of the twentieth 



CHRISTIANS of the Eastern 
or Syriac Church, known as 

Nestorians, were living in China as early as the sixth century. 1 
They gained such an extensive place under the T*ang emperors 
in the seventh to ninth centuries that it becomes important to 
trace their historical connection, which stqms from the apos- 
tles. Timothy I, patriarch of the Nestorians (A.D. 777-820), 
wrote that the Magi had introduced the Christian religion 
among them after their return from their discovery of the 
infant Jesus at Bethlehem. Christianity was well established 
in the East within twenty years after the ascension of our 
Lord. 2 A tradition of the Nestorians is that Christianity was 
founded among them at Edessa in the first century by Saint 
Thaddeus and Saint Mari, of the "seventy," who had been 
commissioned to go to Asia by Jesus in response to a letter 
from King Abgar. This legend is well recorded by Eusebius 
and other authors. 8 Edessa was the capital of a small kingdom 
east of the Euphrates and the starting point of early Christian 
life and literature of the Nestorians. From the end of the second 
century it was the center of active missionary work in Persia 
and Armenia. It is important to remember that the Church of 
the West, dominated by Rome, was predominantly Gentile in 
the fifth century, while the Church of the East was predomi- 
nantly of Hebrew extraction and Syriac-speaking. At the time 
of Christ most of the Jews lived east of the Euphrates in 
Parthia. Ancient Assyria, which had carried the Ten Tribes 

32 The Lost Churches of China 

into captivity, liad been conquered by Parthia. Likewise Par- 
thia had conquered Babylonia, whither Nebuchadnezzar had 
taken the two tribes of Judah. It is a historical fact that only a 
small fraction of the Jews had returned to Jerusalem at the time 
of Cyrus. To Jews of the first century there were no "lost 
tribes." At least the apostle Paul did not think of them as lost 
but only as dispersed. In his defense before King Agrippa, Paul 
referred to "the promise made of God unto our fathers: unto 
which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day 
and night, hope to come " (Acts 26:6, 7). The visitors to Jerusa- 
lem at the time of Pentecost included " Parthians, and Medes, 
and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia" (Acts 2:9). 
These pilgrims to the Feast of Pentecost undoubtedly carried 
home the news of the crucifixion and resurrection, and re- 
counted the great experience that came upon the apostles and 
the sermon of Peter. The Church of the East also holds the 
belief that Peter wrote his First Epistle from Babylon (I 
Peter 5:13). This Church grew to maturity in the now forgotten 
kingdom of Parthia, which in its zenith was able to keep Rome 
at a respectful distance for four hundred years. * From the end 
of the second century to the beginning of the fourteenth it was 
marked by a flaming * missionary zeal.' Through the whole of 
Central Asia, Turkestan, Mongolia, China, and Japan its mes- 
sengers wended their way/* 4 

The Eastern Church was not the creation of Nestorius, It 
would be more accurate to say that Nestorius was a disciple of 
the Eastern Church. Eastern Christians felt that he was mis- 
represented and persecuted unjustly by the Western Church. 
They approved the opposition of Nestorius to the doctrine 
of purgatory and his fight against the adoption of the title 
" Mother of God " for Mary, the Mother of Christ. 

We first hear of Nestorius as a member of the monastery of 
Euprepius near Antioch. Of his early Me we know nothing 
except that he was a native of Germanica, in the Euphrates 
district, within the patriarchate of Antioch. To Antioch evi- 
dently he belonged by theological lineage and point of view. 

The First Christians in China 83 

The graduates of the Antioch school could admit no doctrine 
of the Deity of Christ that would in any way obscure the fact 
that he lived upon earth the life of man. They started from the 
one quite certain fact that he lived as a man among men. They 
reasoned from the known to the unknown. They tried to find 
some means of reconciling the traditional faith in the Godhead 
of Jesus with their conviction that God was one. Nestorius was 
selected by the emperor Theodosius for the patriarchate of 
Constantinople (A.D. 428-431). He was a great scholar, lec- 
turer, and eloquent speaker. Controversy arose soon after he 
was consecrated patriarch of Constantinople, when he raised 
serious objections to the emerging cult of Mariolatry, which 
was advocated by Cyril, bishop of Alexandria. Nestorius 
appealed to the Church of the East and to its doctrinal faith 
received from the apostles as defense for his stand. The 
Council of Ephesus, which deposed and excommunicated Mm, 
was improperly constituted. 5 There are indications that the 
Council of Ephesus was "rigged" against Nestorius. " Every 
avenue of the throne was assaulted with gold/' 6 Cyril rendered 
a constructive or peaceful settlement impossible by insisting, 
against the expressed wish of Count Candidian, who repre- 
sented the emperor, on holding the Council without waiting 
for the arrival of John, bishop of Antioch, and the Eastern 
bishops, who had been delayed by bad roads and inclement 
weather. The sentence of the Council was that Nestorius 
should be excluded from the episcopal office; it was pro- 
claimed in the streets of Ephesus, and the members of the 
Council, as they issued from "the church of the Mother of 
God," were saluted as her champions and their victory was 
celebrated by torches during the night. Nestorius was con- 
demned in an edict that proscribed his opinions and his fol- 
lowers, condemned his writings to the flames, and banished 
his person to Petra in Arabia, and afterward to an oasis in the 
Libyan desert. This was done, so far as history records, with- 
out any trial and without giving the accused any opportunity 
of making his defense. 7 

34 The Lost Churches of China 

Exiled to the desert, Nestorius was dragged to and fro and 
subjected to continued persecution by his relentless enemies. 
Gibbon describes his exile as ** devoutly tortured " by the 
magistrates, soldiers, and monks of Egypt. His death will be 
regarded by some as an ecclesiastical murder, but to his ene- 
mies it appeared an act of merit, while among his friends it 
was glorified as martyrdom. Edicts seemed powerless to crush 
his followers, who were generally known as Nestorians, though 
they spoke of themselves as Chaldean or Assyrian Christians, 
They spread his name and his teaching throughout the East, 
everywhere planting churches, in which the death of Nestorius 
was condemned and the Ephesine decrees rejected. 

The Persian government relaxed its opposition to Christianity 
as soon as it discerned the rupture between the Eastern and 
Western Churches of Christendom. Cyril, bishop of Alexandria, 
was not content with the expulsion and death of his rival Nes- 
torius, but led the persecution of all who supported Nestorius. 
In this movement the bishop of Alexandria was upheld by 
the bishop of Rome. Thus following the Council of Ephesus 
Christian refugees streamed from the West to the East of the 
Euphrates, where they found both religious freedom and pro- 
tection. Gibbon records that " to this standard of natural and 
religious freedom myriads of fugitives resorted from all prov- 
inces." & 

The Eastern Church accepted the first two ecumenical Coun- 
cils of Christendom and subscribed to the Nicene Creed. Now 
having broken with Rome, it set itself to frame its own ritual 
and order. The rule of celibacy was set aside; a more liberal 
spirit of education was introduced into the schools; houses of 
charity were endowed for the education of orphans and found- 
lings. The Eastern Church at the height of its strength extended 
from the Euphrates to the Indus and from the Caspian Sea 
to the Indian Ocean. It was placed beyond the pale of Chris- 
tendom by the Western Church through the interdiction of 
Rome which followed the Council of Ephesus. 

Some feel that the first message about Jesus Christ was 

The First Christians in China 35 

brought to China by the followers of Man! Latourette refers 
to Christianity's doubtful earliest attempts to enter China as 
about the year 300. 9 For the purpose of this study the Nesto- 
rians are the first clear beginning of the Christian Church in 
China. However, we need to remember the caution given by 
Jesus to his disciples, who were disturbed that a certain one 
was preaching in a manner different from the disciples (Mark 
9:39). Mani and his followers carried word of Christ into the 
vast stretches of Asia, including China. Mani, born near Bagh- 
dad about A.D. 216, seems to have started* from Persia with 
certain Christian ideas and to have absorbed as he traveled 
other ideas from every religion. 10 Following his journey to 
China, he returned to Persia in A.D. 273, only to be put to death 
through Zoroastrian intrigues in A.D. 275. Banned from Persia, 
Manichaeism was soon a very strong movement through Central 
Asia. 11 It survived among the nomadic tribes north of China 
for several centuries, until the coming of Nestorian Christians, 
when Manichaeism seems to have faded out with the rise of 
Nestorian Christianity among the Mongols. It is for this reason 
that it is just to recognize the Nestorians as contributing the 
first Christian missionary movement to China. The persecution 
of Christians in Europe had sent Christian scholars seeking 
freedom in the East. 12 This infusion of new blood strengthened 
the Church in Persia. 13 By the opening of the seventh century 
this Church was well organized, with provinces corresponding 
to the territorial divisions of the Persian Empire. In 624 the 
patriarch had been declared catholicos, with supreme authority 
within his own communion. 1 * Eleven years later missionaries 
of this Church appeared at the court of the emperor of China, 
in the ninth year of the Chen-kuan period, A.D. 635. 

The Nestorians were able to enter China because of the open 
trade routes; the first Christians to arrive in China were not 
missionaries but traders who brought their faith with them. 
Similarly the Europeans known to have arrived in China first 
were merchant adventurers and not missionaries. This con- 
tradicts the idea so often expressed that the missionary was 

36 The Lost Churches of China 

the pioneer in causing whatever upset has resulted from the 
mixing of the civilizations and cultures of East and West. 15 
** We must remember that this is the year in which the Nes- 
torian Mission made a public and glorious entrance to the 
capital by the special favor of the reigning emperor, whilst the 
propagation of Nestorianism or the immigration of the Nesto- 
rians into China must naturally have preceded this public en- 
trance of the missionaries in A.D. 635, since it is recorded in 
Chinese history that even in A.D. 578 already a great Nestorian 
family of Mar Sargis emigrated from the Western Lands to 
Lin-t'ao, Kan-su." ie 

The alliance between Persia and China in the seventh cen- 
tury and the suppression of Buddhism in China just a few 
years before the arrival of the Nestorian missionaries are two 
factors in the remarkable welcome they received at the court 
of China. "The Tang dynasty (A.D. 618-907) has been called 
the Augustan age of Chinese literature, and under its sway 
China was governed by some of the best and most liberal- 
minded rulers that the Celestial Empire has ever known." 1T 
The emperor Tai Tsung (AJX 627-650) was a strong Con- 
fucianist and had no sympathy with either Buddhism or 
Taoism which had become so widespread during his father's 
reign. The Confucian scholars who had been successful in 
crushing Buddhism were " in the saddle." When the first Nes- 
torian missionaries arrived in the ancient capital of Sian-fu, 18 
the Tang dynasty was centered in the mountainous provinces 
of Shan-si, Shen-si, and Ho-nan. This area is known as the 
cradle of Chinese civilization and culture. It was there that the 
Nestorians cradled the Christian Church. It was there they 
were known as the " Luminous Religion " 19 and flourished 
under this name for two hundred years, until they were perse- 
cuted and driven out in the ninth century, leaving only a 
number of stone monuments and relics to tell their story. These 
were obscured for many centuries until the epochal discovery 
of the Nestorian monument in Sian-fu, A.D. 1623. In this same 
area modern missionaries to China suffered the greatest mar- 

The First Christians in China 37 

tyrdom in the Boxer massacre of 1900, when more missionaries 
were killed in Shan-si than in any other province. The author 
worked for a number of years in Shan-si and Shen-si. One can- 
not escape from the feeling of the tremendous impact of Church 
history that pervades this area of China. 

When the first Europeans arrived at the court of Pe-king in 
the seventeenth century, no trace was known to exist of the an- 
cient Nestorian Church. Almost all our present knowledge of 
this Church in China begins with the discovery in the year 
1623 near Sian-fu of a massive slab of stone, nine feet high and 
over three feet wide. The front and sides were beautifully 
carved, mostly in Chinese characters, but some in a strange 
language, which was later found to be Syriac. The Jesuit 
scholars in Pe-king at the time sent one of their number to in- 
vestigate, and Chinese and Jesuit scholars soon began to de- 
cipher it. Thus was unfolded the first authentic story of the 
earliest Church in China. 20 Chinese scholars were quick to note 
the imperial inscription of the T'ang emperor on the monument. 
" The Emperor ordered Fang-li-wen-ling, first minister of the 
empire, to go with a great train of attendants to the Western 
suburbs to meet the strangers and bring them to the palace. 
He had the Holy Scriptures translated in the Imperial Library. 
The court listened to the doctrine, meditated on it profoundly 
and understood the great unity of truth." 21 

The exact date of the discovery of the Nestorian monument 
remains unsettled. It was found at Chou-chih, about forty miles 
southwest of Sian-fu, while workmen were making certain ex- 
cavations. 22 It had first been erected in A,D, 781 and had been 
carefully buried, doubtless during the persecution of the ninth 
century. One of the early Jesuits, Etienne Faber, was told by 
an old native of the district that it was well known that snow 
would melt first on a small patch of ground, the spot under 
which the stone was found. 23 Whether out of curiosity or some 
other reason, the stone was discovered, carefully raised, and 
cleaned. It was found in a state of perfect preservation. Most 
likely it was discovered in 1623 and moved to Sian-fu in 1625. 24 

38 The Lost Churches of China 

The important fact is that the discovery revealed for the first 
time that Christianity had entered China in the seventh century 
or earlier and had received the patronage of the Tang emper- 
ors. 25 A friend of a Christian sent a copy of the inscription to 
Hang-chow to Li Chih-tsao, who lost no time in having it 
printed, with an explanatory note which bears the date of 12 
June, 1625. Copies of this editio princeps are preserved in 
Paris. 26 

In the seventeenth century the news of the discovery was 
greeted with skepticism by Western critics. Voltaire poured 
scorn upon the story as an impossible fraud. La Craze joined 
his voice in France with Voltaire in scoffing at the very thought 
of Christianity in China at so early a date. In England, Bishop 
Home and others contended that it simply could not have 
occurred, and they challenged the whole report as a Jesuit for- 
gery. The cynics and skeptics prevailed over the factual evi- 
dence until the middle of the nineteenth century. This was 
undoubtedly due to the extreme distance of China from the 
Western world and the long overland journey involved in go- 
ing to Sian-fu in the heart of China. Very few Westerners, even 
among the missionaries in China, had ever actually seen the 
monument. Thus for two hundred years after the discovery 
doubts still prevailed in Europe and America, as evidenced 
by Neumann of Munich, Stanislas Julien of Paris, and Salisbury 
of America, who as late as 1853 expressed their doubts. 27 The 
Protestant missionary movement of the nineteenth century 
came from Europe and America. It is not surprising that many 
missionaries of this period were sure that the story of the Nes- 
torian monument was a fiction of Jesuit propaganda. 28 Certainly 
most of the Protestant missionaries of the nineteenth century 
were sent to China without any knowledge that Christian mis- 
sionaries of the first Protestant Church in history had labored 
there before them. Fortunately, among the nineteenth century 
missionaries were scholars who later became the most re- 
nowned Sinologists, such as Alexander Wylie and James Legge 
of England. Wylie personally examined the monument in Sian- 

The First Christians in China 39 

fu and published a translation of the inscription in Shang-hai 
in 1854. This included in detail the opinions of Chinese au- 
thorities, many historical notes and calligraphical records of 
the Tang dynasty. Chinese and Japanese scholars from the out- 
set held that the monument found at Sian-fu in 1623 was genu- 
ine. But doubts persisted in the West until removed by scholars 
in the nineteenth century. Unhappily this element of doubt pre- 
vented the Western world from appreciating the significance of 
the Nestorian monument and the invaluable lessons to be de- 
rived from it. The tardiness of the modern missionary move- 
ment to recognize this connecting link with historic Chris- 
tianity is deplorable. So hard is it to accept truth rather than 

In 1883, James Legge published his translation of the in- 
scription on the Sian-fu monument. Since then M. G. Pauthier 
and Paul Pelliot of France have also confirmed its genuineness 
from many sources until there is no longer any doubt what- 
ever regarding the authenticity of the monument. P. Y. Saeki, 
of Tokyo, has gathered the contributions of many scholars, to- 
gether with extensive research work on his own part, and pre- 
sented an invaluable contribution regarding the Nestorians in 
the Tang dynasty. 29 There are many translations of the text of 
the monument. One of the best is given by Moule, who ac- 
knowledges his debt to other eminent authorities as Wylie, 
Legge, Pelliot, and Saeki. 30 Since the recognition of the au- 
thentic character of the Nestorian monument, the zeal of 
scholars, both Western and Chinese, has been whetted to un- 
ravel the history of this lost Church of China. Many sup- 
porting evidences have been brought to light from the official 
Chinese records of the Tang dynasty. The inscriptions and 
manuscripts found in China reveal that doctrinally the faith 
of the Nestorians was apostolic and essentially the same as the 
Nicene Creed. 

The imperial edict recorded on the Sian-fu monument was 
issued by an emperor who was not a Christian, in a land long 
dominated by Buddhism and Taoism, in a period of reaction 

40 The Lost Churches of China 

against those religions. It reveals the pronounced liberal spirit 
of the emperor and must have issued from a sincere conviction 
and appreciation of the gospel interpreted by the Nestorians. 
This official welcome suggests that there was a foreknowledge 
of the coming of the missionaries, who must have been encour- 
aged by the earlier residence in China of Nestorian Christians. 31 
There are those critics who feel that at best the inscription on 
the monument reveals an imperfect grasp of the Christian faith, 
but when one considers the stage of development in Europe at 
the same period, and that this stone was erected nearly three 
hundred years before the Battle of Hastings, the significance 
of it is tremendous. '"The sixty-seven Nestorian missionaries 
whose names and labors are recorded on this tablet must have 
been residents in some portion of China at a much earlier date 
than that named upon the tablet, for the eggs of silkworms 
were brought from China to Constantinople in A.IX 551 by Nes- 
torian monks." 82 

Timothy, patriarch of the Nestorian communion (A.D. 777- 
820), was a stanch supporter of the missionary movement and 
appointed to China the metropolitan David. " At a Synod in 
A.B. 850 called by the Patriarch Theodosius, it was announced 
that all metropolitan Bishops were to convene at Baghdad once 
in four years, with the exception of the metropolitans of India 
and China who were excused on account of the great distances. 
These were to communicate with the patriarch at least every 
six years." 33 

The Nestorians in China did not have a complete Bible as is 
known today. From the relics and documents that have been 
discovered it is possible to gain some idea of what was included 
in the Nestorian Scriptures. A beautifully printed edition in 
colors showing Bishop Alopen's Documents was published in 
1931 in Japan by the Kyoto Institute of the Oriental Culture 
Academy. These reveal a distinct Christian message. 34 The suc- 
cess of the Nestorians under the Tang dynasty is indicated in 
the official records dealing with the suppression of all foreign 
religions in the ninth century. At the pinnacle of their expan- 

The First Christians in China 41 

sion there were from eleven hundred to two thousand religious 
workers, monks, and teachers, who were compelled to return 
to civilian life or leave the country. 35 That the Nestorian 
Church did not meet the conditions of this edict without pro- 
test is evidenced in the accounts of martyr dom. 3 * These records 
suggest the extent of a church membership that had need of 
so many religious leaders. The Nestorians demonstrated a 
marked degree of cultural adaptation as evidenced by the trans- 
lations of the Scriptures into Chinese. They had unusual ca- 
pacities for building Christian communities as self-support- 
ing, self-governing, and self-propagating entities, which must 
have something to teach modern highly and heavily subsidized 
organizations working toward the same objective. 37 * Their 
simplicity of faith and worship, their reverence for scriptures, 
their abhorrence of image and picture worship, of the confes- 
sional and of the doctrine of purgatory, and their not adoring 
the host in Communion, constitute them the Protestants of 
Asia." 38 

The tradition that the Magi returning from Bethlehem had 
so interpreted their discovery of the Messiah that the Syrian 
mind was prepared for the reception of the gospel persists as 
a cardinal strand. It is woven in Nestorian lore through many 
centuries. It appears on the Nestorian monument discovered 
in Sian-fu in the seventeenth century. 39 It is also found in the 
manuscripts discovered in North China by Pelliot in 1908.* 
In a small room cut out of the rock in the village of Chlen-fo- 
tung near Tun-huang on the northwest frontier of China, a 
treasure of manuscripts had lain for centuries, sealed and for- 
gotten. Among the treasures found there by Pelliot was a small 
Christian scroll, torn in three pieces but yet complete. It was 
written approximately in A.D. 800. It contains a hymn to the 
Holy Trinity that has been identified with the Syriac form of 
** Gloria in Excelsis Deo." It is now preserved in the Biblio- 
theque Nationale in Paris. The name given to Jesus Christ in 
China in the ninth century is the one still used by Christians in 
China, " Mi Shih-he," the Messiah. The following translation 

42 The Lost Churches of China 

of the first and last stanzas of the " Gloria " shows the unques- 
tionable Christian character: 

** If the highest heavens with deep reverence adore, 
If the great earth earnestly ponders general peace and harmony, 
If man's first true nature receives confidence and rest, 
It is due to A-Io-he, the merciful Father of the Universe. 
Most holy, universally honoured Mi Shih-he, 
We adore the merciful Father, ocean-treasure of mercy, 
Most holy, humble, and the Holy Spirit nature. 
Clear and strong is the law; beyond thought or dispute/' 41 

Modern missionaries in Shan-si and Shen-si have found 
many evidences of the Nestorians, in monuments, carvings, 
manuscripts, ornaments, and jewels. Present-day Chinese dis- 
tinguish between the descendants of Nestorians, Jews, and 
Mohammedans in an interesting manner. The Mohammedans 
are called * Hui-hui *; they are also spoken of as the " San- 
chiao " (three religions) because they have borrowed from the 
Jews, Christians, and Gentiles. The descendants of the Nesto- 
rians are called " Shih-tzu Hui-hui" which literally is "the 
Cross Moslems." This hints that many Nestorians were swal- 
lowed up in the Moslem victory in the fourteenth century, yet 
kept their identity through the sign of the cross. The Jesuit 
missionaries of the seventeenth century were delighted at this 
discovery, supposing that these descendants of Christians 
would easily rally to their ancestral faith. But the memory of 
massacre and persecution was still vivid, and the difficulties 
confronting the Jesuits during their first years in China were 
too numerous, to permit the Chinese with Christian traditions 
to show their sympathies. Following the discovery of the monu- 
ment in 1623, when the Jesuit scholars had won'the confidence 
and favor of the Ming emperors, they discovered a wave of 
support that had its strength in those areas of North China 
where the Nestorians had been strongly rooted centuries ear- 
lier. In 1886 two Nestorian cemeteries were located at Pish-pek 
and Tok-mak Four more are now known in the area of Kuld-ja. 
The Tok-mak cemetery has over six hundred stones with Syriac 

The First Christians in China 43 

inscriptions, with dates from 858 to the middle of the fourteenth 
century. 42 On each of the tombstones was a deeply cut cross. 
In 1890, Cesar de Brabander discovered the ruins of a cemetery 
halfway between Pe-king and Shang-tu. 43 Great interest was 
aroused in 1919 by the discovery of a Buddhist temple named 
* The Monastery of the Cross," forty miles southwest of Pe- 
king, in which were found carved stones with crosses sur- 
rounded by a quotation in Syriac from Ps. 34:5,6: "Look ye 
unto it and hope in it. 5> The Syriac inscription clearly traces 
the stones to the Nestorians. 44 Over the entrance gate is an in- 
scription in Chinese, Shih Tzu Ssu, "The Monastery of the 
Cross.** By the end of the eighth century the cross was called 
by the purely Chinese term Shih Tzu, " Symbol of Ten/' Be- 
cause this character was in fact a cross, it was used as a seal 
by Christians, and in usage the cross came to be called Shih 
Tzu* 5 

Unfortunately, after two hundred years Nestorian Chris- 
tianity does not seem to have made much adaption of the Chi- 
nese terms for God or Christ as postulated by Confucius or 
Lao Tzu. Instead it remained a foreign religion in China, us- 
ing wholly Syriac terms for God and Christ. 46 Whether they 
wore Chinese dress or Persian attire, we do not know. 
Whether the missionaries shaved to appear more like the Chi- 
nese or wore beards like the Syrians, we do not know* We know 
that in the hour of antiforeign uprising in the ninth century 
the Nestorians were linked with the Indian and Persian reli- 

The loss of the Nestorian Church in the Tang dynasty is due 
to its precarious position of being dependent on political favor. 
The Nestorians were welcomed by a Confucian emperor who 
had just suppressed Buddhism. The Confucian scholars had ex- 
amined the new doctrine and reported favorably on it to the 
court. The intrigue which brought about this disastrous loss 
to the Church was deep-rooted and stemmed from the jealous- 
ies that had long existed between the Confucian scholars and 
Buddhism. The Confucian school first became a state cult under 

44 The Lost Churches of China 

the Han dynasty. 47 The Confucian manuscripts were made the 
basis of civil service examinations, which gave the scholars a 
political influence that rose and fell throughout Chinese his- 
tory. The phenomenal expansion of Buddhism during the first 
six centuries was an alarming development to the Confucian 
scholars. By the end of the sixth century Buddhism rivaled the 
state in its power and wealth. The suppression of Buddhism in 
the seventh century restored power and wealth to the state. 
This just preceded the Nestorians, who found on their arrival 
an atmosphere of diligent seeking for truth in religion as against 
a riot of superstition. 48 

The abhorrence of Emperor Tai Tsung for superstitions was 
strengthened by the empress Ch'ang Sun. The Nestorians 
reached the court just one year before her death. Her dying 
words to her son reveal a freedom from superstition and a con- 
fidence in God: 

" Our life is in the hands of Heaven, and when it decides that we 
shall die, there is no mortal power that can prolong it. As for the 
Taoist and Buddhist faiths, they are heresies, and have been the 
cause of injury to both the people and the state. Your father has a 
great aversion to them, and therefore you must not displease him by 
appealing to them on my behalf." 49 

In A.D. 650 the great Tai Tsung died and was succeeded by 
his son Kao Tsung (650-684), a feeble man. He was completely 
under the control of one of his wives, the unprincipled Wu 
Hou. Still he, like his parents, favored the Christian religion. 
Wu Hou did not oppose her husband's favor toward the Chris- 
tians. She had deeper designs of restoring Buddhism. In her 
early life she had been a Buddhist nun. From the convent she 
entered the palace as a concubine of Tai Tsung and later be- 
came the wife of Kao Tsung. Was this a deep plot of Buddhists 
to gain favor at court, and for this purpose was an attractive 
nun offered to the emperor? We shall see in the seventeenth 
century that when a later emperor was almost persuaded to 
accept Christianity Buddhist intrigue provided him with a 

The First Christians in China 45 

nun as concubine who undermined the influence of the Jesuit 

Following the death of Kao Tsung, Wu Hou was lavish in 
her favors to the religion of which she had once "been a nun. 
Concubine to one emperor and wife of the next, she now, as a 
widowed empress, became the lover of a Buddhist monk, Hwai 
Yi. She built a vast monastery for him, where he was to be- 
come abbot. Under her patronage Buddhist art reached the 
zenith of its glory in China. The Nestorian monument records 
that in the year 698 "the Buddhists took advantage of their 
strength " to oppose the Christians. 50 

The Sian-fu monument does not refer to this persecution 
of the Buddhists in 698 other than * controversy-derision- 
slander/* But there must have been more than mere words. A 
later footnote carved at the base of the stone refers to the fact 
that whea the storm was over, fallen roofs and ruined walls had 
to be raised, desecrated altars and sanctuaries were restored. 

It was toward the close of the Tang dynasty that the Con- 
fucian scholars found their first opportunity in two centuries 
of again challenging Buddhism. The upsurge given Buddhism 
by Wu Hou in the eighth century continued until Buddhism 
had usurped the prerogatives of 'the State. The Confucian op- 
position was led by Han Yu, the author of the famous caustic 
* Memorial on a Bone of the Buddha/' which was largely re- 
sponsible for the imperial edict of A.I>. 845 proscribing all 
religions of foreign origin. 51 The strength of the Confucian 
scholars lay in the Han Lin Academy of letters which was 
founded in the Han dynasty. < This Academy, at which were 
assembled some of the most competent scholars of the day, had 
charge of all the court's literary activity. . . . Still function- 
ing well ten centuries later, it was held up as an example to 
the much newer academies in Europe." 52 The Confucian 
scholars in the ninth century succeeded in striking a blow at 
Buddhism from which it has never recovered. However, one 
of the major weapons employed was national and cultural 

46 The Lost Churches of China 

pride, fanned into a fire against the foreign religious invasion 
from India. In the holocaust that destroyed Buddhism, it was 
unavoidable that Christianity should also suffer hecause it too 
fell under the stigma of being " foreign/' Confucian scholars 
were able to counsel the court to institute wide "reforms/' 
which included the persecution of foreign religions whereby 
the State gained control of vast amounts of land and monas- 
teries belonging to the religious orders. The extensive character 
of the property held by the "foreign" religions which was 
expropriated by the State in the persecution of A.D. 845 is fully 
described in the new Tang records. * When Wu Tsung was 
on the throne he destroyed Buddhism. Throughout the empire 
he demolished four thousand six hundred monasteries, and 
settled as secular subjects two hundred and sixty-five thou- 
sand nuns and monks, and one hundred and fifty thousand male 
and female serfs; while of land he resumed some tens of mil- 
lions of Ch'ing." 53 

In this condition of affairs of rising tension against Buddhism 
as a foreign religion it was impossible to confine the conflagra- 
tion. The official decree against Christians followed: 

^ "As to monks and nuns who^re aliens and who teach the reli- 
gions of foreign countries, we command that these over three thou- 
sand people of Nestorians, Moslems, and Zoroastrians return to the 
secular lire and cease to confuse our national customs and man- 
ners/* 54 

The Moslems were not numerous. They had to come to China 
as envoys and merchants or mercenaries. 55 The Zoroastrians 
were also numerically small. Thus most of this number of three 
thousand religious workers must be presumed to be Nesto- 
rians. 56 

The Tang dynasty records reveal how the Confucian scholars 
had conspired to replenish the wealth of the state. 57 All re- 
ligions were supervised by a single board at the Tang court. 
The Nestorians suffered with all foreign religions in the efforts 
of the State to wrest from Buddhism the power which it had 
usurped. 58 

The 'First Christians in China 47 

Thus Nestorian Christianity was erased, leaving only its 
monuments in stone. If Buddhists were to be cast out, by Con- 
fucian rivalries, on the grounds of being a foreign religion, it 
is unthinkable that Christianity should have escaped without 
loss. 59 And although remnants survived the persecution for a 
time, ultimately the Nestorians disappeared from China and 
found their means of survival among the northern tribes of 
Turks and Mongols. 60 There were small groups who survived 
in North China for almost a century, but most of those who 
did not escape were put to death. Refugees of the Nestorians 
found a welcome north of China in the territory of the Uigurs. 
That Manichaeism was not truly a heresy but a partial ex- 
pression of Christianity is suggested by the fact that the Uigurs, 
who were Manichaeans when they welcomed the Nestorian 
refugees, abandoned Manichaeism. According to Bar Hebraeus, 
the tribes south of Lake Baikal adopted the Christian faith of 
the Nestorians in A.D. 1007. 61 

After the suppression of all foreign religions, Confucian 
temples appeared for the first time in China. The Tang em- 
perors recognized that Confucian ethics provided a sound 
foundation for the unification of society and the establishment 
of orderly government. Thus they gave the movement support 
for political reasons. 62 

In A.D. 987 a Christian monk, returning from China, reported 
in Constantinople that "the Christians of China had dis- 
appeared and perished for various reasons and that in the 
whole country only one was left," 63 

When history records the Nestorians in strength again, they 
are moving from the land of the Uigurs back to China as ad- 
visers to the Mongol princes. 

It is important to recognize that the loss of the Nestorians 
in the T'ang dynasty was due to three major factors : 

1. Their dependence upon the political favor of the court 
placed them in a vulnerable position in an hour when influ- 
ences at the court conspired against them. 

2. Although they had, at first, received a cordial welcome 

48 The Lost Churches of China 

from the Confucian court, and while they prospered for two 
hundred years, they continued as a foreign religion with little 
attempt to relate the Christian message with the legitimate 
truths found in China's religious heritage. 

3. A third reason is not quite so apparent, but it is clearly 
suggested in the downfall of the Buddhists. The Nestorians 
were engulfed in the holocaust that crushed Buddhism, and it 
is to be inferred that in a proportionate degree they shared in 
the mistake made by the Buddhists of amassing wealth and 
power for support of their monasteries by landholdings. The 
wrath of the Confucian scholars, which transmitted itself in- 
to the wrath of the court, was rooted in economic considera- 
tions. Buddhism had become immensely wealthy through tax 
exemptions on its landholdings surrounding monasteries. More- 
over the thousands entering the monasteries were thus able 
to avoid their economic responsibilities and political obliga- 
tions. In effect Buddhism had become a state within a state. 
Even if the Nestorians were guiltless in this regard, neverthe- 
less the lessons from the holocaust that crushed Buddhism and 
engulfed the Nestorians should ever be borne in mind. In the 
twentieth century, as we shall later note, the wrath of the Com- 
munists is vented against the large property holdings of the 
Church and particularly against the landlord policy of Roman 
Catholic missions by which they financed their work through 
rentals. 64 



rilHE connecting link in the 
A history of the Nestorians 

with the events in the preceding chapter is to be found in the 
Liao and Chin dynasties, which existed beyond the borders 
of North China, to which the Nestorian refugees fled in 
the ninth century. There they survived and prospered in the 
land of the Uigurs in Inner Mongolia. Manichaeism had been 
quite strong in Inner Mongolia until the arrival of the Nesto- 
rians. Christianity soon developed an extensive place among the 
Uigurs and Mongols, gradually displacing Manichaeism, which 
had taught only a partial reference to Jesus Christ in its 
eclectic system. 

The Liao dynasty (907-1124) is generally classed in history 
with the Chin (1115-1234), the Yuan or Mongol (1260-1368), 
and the Chlng or Manchu (1644r-1912) dynasties. These four 
dynasties share a fundamental feature: they were established 
by inner Asiatic peoples who invaded Chinese territory and 
ruled over a population that was mainly Chinese. When the 
Nestorians returned to China in the thirteenth century, it was 
under the patronage of the Mongols. Thus when we speak of 
Christians in China in the thirteenth and f ourteenth centuries, 
it should be understood that most of them were of tribes from 
north of the border, who were looked upon by the Chinese as 
members of the conquering force that had occupied China. 
There is no evidence that Christianity gained its second foot- 

50 The Lost Churches of China 

hold in China in this period except in the areas of Mongol in- 

While Christianity was gaining ascendancy in Mongolia dur- 
ing the tenth to twelfth centuries there were important develop- 
ments within China proper. During the tenth to twelfth cen- 
turies, the Sung dynasty, which held power from the downfall 
of the Tang until the Mongol conquest, had encouraged the 
Confucian school and enabled art and literature to reach a 
stage of development not later excelled. The Neo-Confucian 
school, founded by Chu Hsi, flourished under the Sung dynasty 
and borrowed greatly from Buddhism and Taoism. The in- 
sistence of Chu Hsi on * Infinite Love * as being the final ex- 
planation of the universe, and such phrases as, "Heaven is 
a Father to man, and the feeling of man to Heaven should be 
none other than the love and reverent service of a son," seem 
to have a note not found in Chinese writings prior to the Nes- 
torians. Buddhism had not been completely eradicated in the 
ninth century, for the decree expropriating the lands and 
closing thousands of monasteries had expressly permitted the 
continuance of a very limited number. 

These were the contemporary developments within China 
proper under the Sung dynasty, while Nestorian Christianity 
was gaining ascendancy and influence in Inner Mongolia. 
When the Nestorians returned to China proper, they came as 
the trusted advisers of the new rulers. By this time they evi- 
denced pronounced political consciousness. When the Nesto- 
rians appeared in Pe-king, it was as priests of the religion in 
favor with the Mongol court. 

The influence of the Nestorians under the Mongols, first in 
the Liao state of Inner Mongolia and later in China under the 
Yuan dynasty, was one of ascending scale. In the twelfth cen- 
tury Europe was astonished by the renown of a Christian king 
in the East, whose riches and power were reputed to be with- 
out limit. 

In 1145, the bishop of Gaula, Syria, during a visit to Italy, 
narrated that 

Church of East Meets Church of West 51 

** a few years ago a certain John, who dwells beyond Persia and 
Armenia, in the extreme Orient, a king and a priest and a Chris- 
tian with his whole nation, though a Nestorian, conducted a war 
against the kings of the Persians and Medes. . . . They fought for 
t&ee days, . . . Presbyter Johannes, for thus they used to call 
Mm, yet having routed the Persians emerged victorious from the 
most atrocious slaughter." x 

Otto von Freisingen is the first to mention the <c Presbyter " 
as the Eastern ruler who defeated the king of Persia, Samiardi, 
and his followers. All travelers of the eleventh and twelfth 
centuries speak of the existence of a great Christian ruler in the*"* 
Far East during this period. Undoubtedly the name Presbyter 
or Prester John was handed down from father to son, and there 
was probably a succession of Mongol kings bearing this title, 
who were Nestorian Christians. 

The Mongol Empire of Jenghis Khan, like the Khitan state 
of the Liao dynasty, started on the northern border of China. 
These states faced China aggressively and set up dynasties that 
derived their strength from the borders of China and yet were 
vulnerable to attack from the tribal world north and west of 

JengMs Khan, after taking Yen-ching (modem Pe-king) in 
1215, returned to Turkestan. Defeating and then -uniting the 
peoples of Mongolia and central Asia, Jenghis created as base, 
Ning-hsia, from which he could carry the Mongol attack in 
any direction: into Russia, Europe, the Near East, India, and 
China. He and his successors formed the greatest continental 
empire the world has seen. But they turned back from Europe 
and all but the northern part of India; so China became the 
most important part of their holdings. 

Under Ogotai, Jenghis Khan's successor, Kai-feng, in Ho- 
nan, was captured in 1233. Mongol assaults upon Europe and 
disputes about the succession delayed their attack upon the 
southern Sung empire. This was begun by Kublai Khan in 1251 
and completed in 1276. . . . Kublai Khan made Pe-king his 
capital in 1263 and established the Yuan dynasty in 1264. 

The reign of Kublai saw the Mongol Empire at its apex. In 

52 The Lost Churches of China 

political administration, Kublai enlisted Chinese scholars and 
gave them minor offices. Relatively few were in high positions. 
Foreign contingents were in the Mongol armies. The adminis- 
trative posts were filled with aliens, among whom many were 
Nestorian Christians. 

Nestorian Christianity was at that time widely spread in 
central Asia and on the borders of China proper, and numbers 
of the foreigners who came from these regions into China 
tinder the Yuan dynasty were Christians. 

The influence of the Nestorians on the court during the Mon- 
gol Empire is evidenced in "Collection of Inscriptions on 
Metals and Stones/' by Wang Ch'ang, in which the phrase, 
** Being the Emperor by the Power of the Eternal God and by 
the Protection of the Great Felicity," is found on at least ten 
inscriptions that also carry references to Nestorian Christians. 
An imperial rescript in 1272 ordered: "By the command of 
Genghis, Ogdai, Satchen, Olshaitu and Guluk Khans . . . 
the priests, Erkehuns (Nestorians) and teachers shall be ex- 
empt from all official service and shall give themselves entirely 
to the duties of supplicating the blessings of God/' 2 More than 
one hundred bronze crosses have been discovered in recent 
years in the Ordos country and in Sui-yuan province, which was 
a stronghold of Nestorian Christianity in this period. 3 Father 
Mostaert has found in the Ordos country the Erkut tribe, de- 
scended from the Christian Onguts. 4 The records left by Wil- 
liam of Rubruck and Marco Polo show that Nestorian Uigurs 
almost monopolized the secretariat offices throughout the Yuan 
dynasty. 5 Moule has found that there were Christians under 
the Mongols in the provinces of Chiang-cho, Chiang-hai, 
Chiang-nan, Han-erh (North China), Ho-hai, Ho-nan, Shang- 
hai, Tibet, Uiguria, Yu-nan, and that they were very strong in 
fourteen major cities. 6 

There are many evidences that under the Mongol Empire 
the Nestorians gained widespread footholds throughout North 
China and were able to penetrate south to the Yang-tze Valley, 
and even as far south on the coast as Fu-kien. In the historical 

Church of East Meets Church of West 53 

records of this period there are many references in Chinese 
official documents to the Nestorians. The province of Shan-si 
became a stronghold of Christians as it was nearest to the head- 
quarters of the Mongol King George. It also was the area where 
Christianity had been the strongest in the Tang dynasty. In the 
Juan Shih, March, 1267, it is decreed that Christians in P'ing- 
yang and T'ai-yuan-fu were exempted from military service. 
In Juan Shih I Wen, 1287, it is noted that when Christian 
monks of Chiang-nan travel they ride in sedan chairs. This 
denoted great respect But, as often revealed in history, privi- 
lege and power corrupts even monks and priests. Thus in 1293 
an edict was published in Juan Tung Chih restraining Chris- 
tian and other monks from illegally evading taxes. In the year 
1300 an order was issued in Juan Tung Chih Tiao-ko requir- 
ing Christian monks in the provinces of Ho-nan, Che-chiang, 
and Shan-si who trade to pay taxes. In the Juan Tung Chih 
supplement of July, 1320, it was decreed that Moslems, Chris- 
tians, and Jews in Chiang-hai, except those in actual temples, 
were to pay taxes. Moule observes that it was the official pro- 
tection given to the Nestorians by the Mongol court which ex- 
posed them to the difficulties revolving around these special 
regulations that had to be issued to control them. It would 
seem that either through their vested privileges they had 
claimed exemptions or avoided taxes and thus incurred the 
jealousy of the populace, or else they were falsely accused, 
with the result that it was deemed necessary to issue these in- 
creasingly stringent regulations. 7 

There are references to a Nestorian under Kublai Khan be- 
ing placed in charge of the astronomical bureau, who later be- 
came a member of the Han Lin Academy and a minister of 
state; to a Nestorian physician from Samarkand who was gover- 
nor of Ching-kiang, and to an archbishopric of the Nestorian 
Church established at Pe-king. Kublai Khan also established 
an office to supervise the Christians. Marco Polo described the 
northern provinces of China through which he traveled as com- 
posed of three kinds of people: idolaters, those who worship 

54 The Lost Churches of China 

Mahomet, and Nestorian Christians. Polo was not in China in 
any religious capacity. Therefore, his observations stand out 
because of his surprise at finding Christians there. 

He mentions a Nestorian church in Hang-chow, and two 
Nestorian churches were in Ching-kiang-fu when he visited it. 
Those, he tells us, were built in A.D. 1278 by a baron named 
Mar Sarghis, a Nestorian Christian, who was sent by the great 
khan as governor of the city. 

According to Bar Hebraeus, in A.D. 1265, the Nestorians in- 
habited twenty-five Asiatic provinces and administered over 
seventy dioceses. 8 References to Christians in China in the 
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries are found in many contem- 
porary Chinese texts. 9 

It is important to recount briefly what happened between 
the seventh century when the first Nestorians came to China, 
and the thirteenth century in western Asia and Europe. At the 
time Christianity was expanding eastward into China, the Mos- 
lems of Arabia advanced northward and westward in military 
conquests. When the Arabs invaded Persia, they found the 
Nestorians already a power in the East. The Nestorians ob- 
served a neutrality that was favorable to the invaders; they did 
not assist the Persians against the foe, but welcomed the Arabs 
as liberators. The Arabs soon discovered that the learning of 
the East was chiefly nurtured among the Nestorians and en- 
trusted them with prominent positions, as treasurers, physi- 
cians, and scribes, They translated for the Arabs the works of 
the Greek philosophers and physicians. Caliph al-Mamum sent 
learned Nestorians to Syria and Egypt to collect manuscripts 
and translate them. He replied to a critic who asked how the 
translation could be entrusted to a Christian: ** If I confide to 
him the care of my body in which dwell my soul and spirit, 
wherefore should I not intrust him with the things which do 
not concern our faith or his faith? He has eaten my bread and 
salt" 10 

This amicable relationship between the Nestorians and the 
Moslems continued for centuries until the rise of the Mongols. 

Church of East Meets Church of West 55 

The elementary beginnings of our knowledge of chemistry, 
gunpowder, the compass, medicine, philosophy, and even in 
some measure theology, are due in large measure to the com- 
bined labors of the Nestorians and the Arabs. 11 The Nestorians 
gained their knowledge of making paper, the secret of making 
gunpowder, the art of making porcelain, and printing by stone 
lithography, in China. From the Nestorians the Arabs derived 
this knowledge. The Arabs also borrowed the mariner's com- 
pass from the Chinese. Paper was used in China as early as 
A.B. 105. The secret of its manufacture was known in Mecca in 
707, in Egypt in 800, in Spain in 950, in Constantinople in 1100, 
in Sicily in 1102, in Italy in 1154, in Germany in 1228, in Eng- 
land in 1309. Paper made possible the making of books wher- 
ever it went. 

Behind this cultural borrowing smoldered fires. In the sev- 
enth to ninth centuries, during the period of missionary success 
in China, Christian scholars had retreated out of Europe as 
far west as Ireland. Islam was on the march and western Eu- 
rope was a chaos of conquest and disintegration of both morals 
and government. What classic culture survived was silent and 
hidden. 12 For three centuries Christianity in the West had 
trembled before the advance of the Moslem invasion of North 
Africa and into Europe. This was the crisis that produced the 
Crusades, which served to unite a divided Europe. They were 
the culminating act of the medieval drama, and the most pic- 
turesque event in the history of Europe and the Near East. 
The Crusades demonstrated that mankind's deepest hatred is 
fanned into flame by those who challenge his sustenance and 

In the East the rising tide of the Mongols took advantage of 
the preoccupation of the Moslem world in the Crusades; and 
the Nestorians, feeling the animosity of the Moslems toward 
Christians that had been engendered by the Crusades, sought 
their security in the Mongol Empire. (The middle of the thir- 
teenth century witnessed the final bankruptcy of the Crusades 
after Saladin's capture of Jerusalem in 1187. 13 Europe was ex- 

56 The Lost Churches of China 

hausted from their failure. Pope Innocent IV (1243-1254) 
conceived the plan of converting the Mongols to Christian- 
ity in order to get at the Moslem world from the East 
through an alliance with the Mongols. There does not appear 
to be any thought that an extensive Christian Church then ex- 
isted in the lands of the Mongols. These pious and political 
schemes of Western Christendom in the hour of extremity can- 
not be called missionary. To be sure of securing political al- 
liances, even in the name of the Church, is not the missionary 
task of the Church. A recent Catholic scholar admits that the 
first missionaries were sent to the Mongols because of the 
threat of the Moslems. 14 The most famous of these were John 
de Piano Carpini and Benedict the Pole, who were commis- 
sioned by Pope Innocent IV in 1245 with a letter to the king 
of the People of the Tartars. 15 In 1253, Louis IX of France 
sent William of Rubruck to the Mongols from the Holy Land. 
Another mission of Dominicans was sent by the pope to the 
Mongols who controlled Persia, but the demands of the Domin- 
icans were too arrogant. 16 The information secured by these 
missions evoked an interest in the Orient. In 1250 a General 
Chapter issued by the Vatican decreed that Arabic should be 
taught in addition to Greek and Hebrew. In 1311, Pope Cle- 
ment V founded colleges of Oriental languages at Rome, Paris, 
Oxford, Bologna, and Salamanca. 17 

If the overtures from Europe to the Mongols had given any 
recognition to the Nestorian Christians, or manifested any de- 
gree of tolerance, or sought a reconciliation between the two 
historic Churches, there might have been hope of success. In 
the Annals of China references to Nestorians serving in the 
armies of the Mongols mention them as the <c God Grant Strata- 
gem Army." 18 

When the Mongols captured Baghdad, it was not unnatural 
that the Nestorians there in the western parts of Asia should 
hail the Mongols of the East as their deliverers. Abaqu Khan 
(1265-1282), the son of Khulaqu Khan, was most favorable to 
Christianity. He presented Patriarch Denkha, after his con- 

Church of East Meets Church of West 57 

secration, with magnificent gifts of a diploma, staff, and um- 
brella. The silk umbrella was the emblem of royalty so uni- 
versally adopted by the Eastern nations. 19 

In the defeat of the Moslems, and the massacre of their caliph 
at Baghdad by the Mongols in the thirteenth century, the Nes- 
torians abandoned the political neutrality they had maintained 
for nearly eight hundred years during which they had lived 
among the Moslems. During the period Europe was involved 
in the Crusades, the Nestorians had become an influential 
Church throughout Asia. They had developed a keen political 
sensitivity evidenced in the election, at Baghdad, in A.D. 1281, 
of the metropolitan of Pe-king to be Patriarch Yahballaha III. 
Since a great majority of the electors were not Chinese, this 
must be interpreted as a political attempt to win the favor of 
the Mongols. 

At the close of the thirteenth century the Church of the East 
and the Church of the West met in the most dramatic exchanges 
which precipitated the downfall and eclipse of the Nestorians 
in China. The Mongol court was sensitive to Moslem pressure. 
The court besought the Nestorian patriarch, Yahballaha III, to 
nominate a churchman to serve as ambassador to the European 
courts, in the hope of establishing an alliance against the Mos- 
lems. Rabban Sauma, visitor-general of the Nestorian Churches, 
born in Pe-king, was chosen by the patriarch for this mission. 
This appointment caused great satisfaction to the Mongol 
princes, who realized the favorable impression likely to be cre- 
ated by a Christian envoy at the courts of Europe. Rabban 
Sauma carried letters from the Mongol court and gifts for each 
of the European kings, also letters and gifts from the patriarch 
of the Nestorian Church to the pope at Rome, who was con- 
sidered the patriarch of the West. 20 Sauma arrived in Rome in 
A.D. 1288. His was a twofold mission, seeking reconciliation 
with the Western Church, and a political alliance with Euro- 
pean states against the Moslem world. But the Nestorians in 
seeking rapport with the Western Church of Europe were not 
prepared to be subordinated to the papacy. The extensive in- 

58 The Lost Churches of China 

fluence of tlie Nestorians under the Mongol Empire reveals 
the significance of the mission to Europe. 

"At the opening of the fourteenth century, the Patriarch Yah- 
hallaha III (1281-1317), who was himself of Chinese origin, ruled 
over a hierarchy of twenty-five metropolitans, which would mean 
some two hundred to two hundred and fifty bishops; and we may 
gain a vivid impression of the vitality of the Church of the East 
and of the interest it excited in Europe from the account written hy 
Rabban Sauma who was recommended to Khan Argon, prince of 
the Mongols, as envoy to the West in order to concert an alliance 
for the taking of Jerusalem. He was received by the Emperor 
Adronicus II, 1282-1328, at Constantinople, and then went on to 
Rome. The pope, Honorius IV, 1285-1287, was just dead so Sauma 
continued his journey to Paris, where he was received by Philip 
IV of France, 1285-1314, and to Gascony, where he had an audi- 
ence of Edward I of England, 1272-1307. On his return, he passed 
through Rome, where he was not only entertained by Pope Nicholas 
IV, 1288-1292, but allowed to make his communion at the papal 
Mass on Palm Sunday and given permission to celebrate his own." 21 

That this embassy headed by Rabban Sauma was seeking a 
political and military alliance between the forces of Western 
Christendom and the Mongol Empire is clearly established. It 
also sought friendly relations between the Church of the East 
and the Church of the West This overture, instead of develop- 
ing Christian unity, produced only suspicion, which led to in- 
trigue by the papacy, with renewal of antagonisms rooted in 
the fifth century. The political purpose of Rabban Sauma's 
mission doubtless became known to the Moslem world. The 
European courts that had followed the leadership of the pope 
during the Crusades against the Moslems naturally looked to 
the papacy for a clue in regard to what response they should 
make to the Mongol court. 

The visit of the Nestorian-Mongolian mission to Europe 
aroused the papacy. The very next year Pope Nicholas IV sent 
John of Monte Corvino as a missionary to the Orient on July 
15, 1289. In 1307 seven more Franciscans were sent to act as 
suffragans after they had consecrated Monte Corvino to be 
archbishop of Pe-king, then known as Khan-baliq. The letters 
of the -pope to heads of the Mongol states express joy at the 

Church of East Meets Church of West 59 

news of their sympathy with Christianity and seek the contin- 
uance of this favor to the Order of Friars Minor. These letters 
carefully draw the attention of the Mongol princes to the as- 
sertion of the papacy regarding its supremacy over all Chris- 
tians: "We who though unworthy are the vicar of Christ and 
successor of St. Peter the chief of the apostles/' 22 etc. 

" The letters which Rabban Sauma took to Europe are not known 
to exist, but copies of Pope Nicholas' reply have been preserved. It 
greets the patriarch as * Bishop in the lands of the East ' and while 
it professes Christian good will and blessing, it did not recognize 
the patriarch's supremacy in the East and ends with an unbending 
claim of universal supremacy for Rome." 23 

The Nestorians had been the only Christian Church in China 
for almost seven hundred years until, after several unsuccess- 
ful attempts, the Roman Catholics established the Franciscan 
mission beside them in Khan-baliq (Pe-king). The leader of 
this mission, John of Monte Corvino, spent four years in travel 
through Persia, India, and Mongolia en route to the Mongol 
capital. He reached the capital in A.D. 1293 shortly before the 
death of Kublai Khan. The Mongol court looked upon his com- 
ing as a response to the earlier overture sent to Europe by the 
hand of the Nestorian visitor-general, Rabban Sauma. When 
the court discovered the conditions upon which further help 
from Europe depended, the Mongols requested the pope to 
send a larger number of missionaries. This message was carried 
to Europe by Marco Polo. 24 The second band of Franciscans 
arrived at the capital in 1307. Had these two groups, Nesto- 
rians and Roman Catholics, found a way to work together, the 
whole of world history might have been changed. ** Unfortu- 
nately from the very outset they worked in opposition to one 
another, and apparently made no effort to understand each 
other or to see whether some agreement or division of labor 
was not possible." 25 

That the Church of Rome was determined to permit on rec- 
onciliation with the Nestorians, and that the antipathy of the 
Franciscans was officially inspired is evidenced in the letters 

60 The Lost Churches of China 

of license sent by Pope Clement V to John of Monte Corvino, 
appointing and ordaining him to be archbishop of Khan-baliq. 
This license of authority praises Monte Corvino for his success 
in reaching the capital of the Mongol Empire, and his securing 
leave of the Mongol court to build a church " to the honor of 
God and of the Catholic faith, after many and varied persecu- 
tions and intrigues and injuries brought upon you by the Nes- 
torian heretics," The pope's document also contained very 
adroit suggestions of the advantages to be gained by the Mon- 
gols by their transfer of allegiance from the Nestorian faith to 
the pope. " When pernicious errors have been wholly removed, 
heresies in those regions will be taken out, schisms uprooted, 
and great nay even the very greatest good will come to 
the said great king and to his kingdom and very many desir- 
able things will follow/* 26 

The Franciscans not only lacked any tolerance for the Nes- 
torian Christians, but they also lacked any cultural apprecia- 
tion of the Chinese, evidenced by the fact that they conducted 
their services in Latin and trained their converts in Latin. How- 
ever, in their letters back to Rome, they sensed their cultural 

" We truly believe that if we had their tongues wonderful works 
of God would be seen. The harvest is great but the laborers are 
few, and with no sickle. For we are hut a few brothers, and very 
old, and unable to learn languages. May God forgive those who 
hindered brothers from coming/* 2T 

The Franciscans were conditioned in their approach to the 
Orient and also in their attitude toward the Nestorians by the 
school of thought in which they had been nurtured. The license 
of authority from Pope Clement V left the Franciscans in China 
with no freedom to meet the Nestorians in Christian fellowship 
but to require of them capitulation. 

John of Monte Corvino lays the blame of the misunderstand- 
ing on the Nestorians. 28 Up to now no record has been found in 
Chinese manuscripts of this period that could even suggest 
that the Nestorians were guilty of all calumny of which the 

Church of East Meets Church of West 61 

Franciscans accuse them. Naturally the Nestorians objected to 
the establishment of another Church, which brought no fra- 
ternal greetings from the pope to the Nestorians, but rather 
deliberately sought to supplant them in the favor of the Mongol 
court. The crisis that confronted the Nestorian bishops and 
monks in China must have been a difficult one. The Mongol 
court was known to be seeking an alliance with European states 
against the Moslems whose enmity had been incurred by the 
massacre of Baghdad. 

In the year A.D. 1333 a Franciscan monk from Florence, John 
de* Marignolli, wrote a glowing picture of his cordial welcome: 
"The Friars Minor of Cambulac (Pe-Mng) have a cathedral 
church immediately adjoining the palace, with a proper resi- 
dence for the archbishop, and other churches in the city be- 
sides, and they have bells, too, and all the clergy have their 
subsistence from the emperor's table in the most honorable 
manner." 29 

Thus the Mongol court went out of its way to win the favor 
of the papacy. Certain Roman Catholic authors carry this idea 
of favorable support of the Mongols beyond factual evidence. 
One of the most damaging rumors, repudiated by the Church 
of the East, is the disputed account that affirms that the Nes- 
torian patriarch, Yahballaha III, sent his acceptance of the 
pope in a profession of faith that was received, and blessed, by 
Pope Benedict XI, A.D. 1304 30 If this were true, it is inconceiv- 
able that Pope Clement V, when creating John of Monte Cor- 
vino archbishop of Khan-baliq, should have execrated the Nes- 
torians as heretics in his letter of license to the new archbishop. 
Under the conditions of travel in the fourteenth century com- 
munications were difficult, involving considerable time. When 
the Nestorians discovered that the Franciscans had been sent 
with deliberate instructions to undermine them, it is under- 
standable that consternation and confusion were created. 

From the outset the Franciscans played on the political 
hopes of the Mongols for an alliance with the European states. 
The Mongol princes were mindful of the strategic political in- 

62 The Lost Churches of China 

fluence of the pope in Europe. This intrigue was fraught with 
the greatest peril. Thus the result of the joint Nestorian-Mon- 
gol overture to Europe was abortive. The pope had deferred 
an alliance until the Mongols should abandon what Rome de- 
nounced as the Nestorian heresy. The Nestorians who had 
shared with the Mongol court in the overture to Europe had 
not only been betrayed but they had, thereby, forfeited their 
position of neutrality in the eyes of the Moslems, thus los- 
ing a relationship they had maintained for nearly eight cen- 

It is one of the stark tragedies of Christendom that the Fran- 
ciscans were incapable, either by training or because of precise 
directions to the contrary from their superiors, of showing any 
appreciation of the Nestorians, whom they sought to sup- 
plant. What might have become a source of strength and con- 
fidence resulting from love and tolerance became instead a 
divisive and destructive force within the ranks of Christendom. 
In the meantime intrigue was rife in both Europe and Asia. 
At the very time Pope Clement V was sending missionaries to 
China to undermine the Nestorians, he was entering into a 
dark conspiracy with King Philip IV of France to destroy what 
had been the life-giving sinews of the Church during the Cru- 
sades, namely, the Religious and Military Orders of the Knights 
Templars. The pope was jealous of the power that lay in the 
hands of the Order, which the papacy had sanctioned for the 
prosecution of the Crusades. Now its spiritual independence 
from the hierarchy of the Church was irksome to the pope. 
Thus he conspired to seize control over the Order. Philip IV 
was heavily in debt to the Knights Templars and was a willing 
tool of the pope in suppressing the Order and confiscating 
their properties. In this unholy alliance the Templar Order, 
which was the military strength of Europe, was destroyed; 
while in the heart of western Asia the leader of the Moslems, 
Tamerlane, watched for his opportunity. With the martyrdom 
of the leaders of the Knights Templars, Europe was thrown 
into confusion. The news of the sabotage of the Knights Tern- 

Church of East Meets Church of West 63 

plars was not long in reaching the ears of Tamerlane. The 
Moslems also learned from China that the machinations of the 
Franciscans at the Mongol court destroyed hope of co-oper- 
ation between the Church of the West and the Church of the 
East. It was the Moslem's hour to strike. The hour was already 
later than many dreamed. Thus, when Europe was shorn of its 
military strength by the suppression of the Religious and Mil- 
itary Orders, and while the Nestorians were being undermined 
in China, Tamerlane led his Moslem hordes in a scourge of fire 
and sword that swept Christianity out of Asia from the Cas- 
pian Sea to the Yellow Sea, The Black Death, which scourged 
Europe in the Middle Ages, was unleashed by this holocaust 
and prevented any further missionary endeavor from Europe 
for two centuries. 31 

The only relic of the Franciscan mission is a Latin Bible of 
the thirteenth century which was obtained at Ch'ang-chou by 
P. Philip Couplet of the Society of Jesus, toward the end of the 
seventeenth century. This Bible was in a stage of irreparable 
decay, but still wrapped in Chinese yellow silk. It is preserved 
in the Laurentian Library in Florence. In marked contrast is 
the cultural adaptation of the Nestorians, who definitely used 
hymns, liturgies, and Scriptures in the native language. 

In the scourge of Tamerlane no mercy was shown to the Nes- 
torians. On the ruins of Isfahan, seventy thousand human heads 
were piled, and at Baghdad, the heap of Nestorian heads num- 
bered ninety thousand. 32 It is said of Tamerlane that his mere 
nod caused multitudes to abandon Christianity. He pursued 
the Christians with relentless fury, destroying churches, forcing 
them to accept Islam or death. Those who escaped took refuge 
in the almost inaccessible fastnesses of the Kurdistan mountains. 

The news of Tamerlane's scourge was not long in reaching 
China, where it gave courage to forces waiting for an oppor- 
tunity to overthrow the Mongols. In the area of China that had 
formerly been the center of the Sung dynasty, uprisings under 
Chu Yuan-chang followed. Thus the Nestorians were caught 
between pincers. They were the privileged class whose favor 

64 The Lost Churches of China 

was derived from the Mongol court. The Chinese who sought 
to overthrow the Mongols also cast out the Nestorians, iden- 
tified with them. Between the Moslems of Tamerlane, driving 
relentlessly toward China from the west, and the upsurge of 
Chinese in rebellion against the Mongols, pushing north from 
the Yang-tze Valley, the Nestorians had nowhere to flee. 33 It 
was impossible that all perished under the Moslem fury; part of 
the explanation may be found in the large number of Moham- 
medans found in China at the present time, over twenty mil- 
lion in the northwest, a number that cannot be accounted for 
by the usual laws of natural increase. 

Thus in 1368 the Mongol dynasty, which had been so friendly 
to the Nestorians, came to an end. The Moslems also blotted 
out the great Church of the East throughout China and much 
of Asia, and at the same time obliterated their young and vigor- 
ous Franciscan rival. The last authentic fact known about the 
Franciscans is the martyrdom of James of Florence, Roman 
Catholic bishop of Hang-chow, A.D. 1362. 34 No one has yet 
found any Chinese manuscripts or inscriptions that mention the 
Franciscans, although there is much documentary evidence in 
Chinese sources of the activities of the Nestorians in this 

The small number of Nestorians who survived in Kurdistan 
were able to send missionaries to China again in the succeed- 
ing century. In 1490, Patriarch Shimun sent a metropolitan to 
China. 35 

There is no record found in China up to the present that re- 
veals any success in re-establishment of the Nestorian Church 
as a result of this appointment of a metropolitan to China in 
A.D. 1490. There are suggestions that many Nestorians joined 
secret societies, particularly the Chin-tan-chiao, and that in 
this manner Nestorian Christianity went * underground/' 36 
The curtain that fell with the collapse of the Yuan dynasty was 
one that so completely shut off all communications between 
China and the West that it was to be reopened again only with 
the greatest difficulty. 37 

Church of East Meets Church of West 65 

The scholar-official in China had waged a struggle for su- 
premacy that had continued for many centuries, in the course 
of which the scholars suffered many reverses, but in the ascend- 
ancy of the Ming dynasty they triumphed. In the hour of their 
victory the Confucian school hadn't any mind to tolerate new 

Orthodoxy became synonymous with truth, and fidelity to 
the interpretations of the Confucian school became synonymous 
with any hope of advancement. China turned its back squarely 
upon both the future and the outside world. The problem of 
introducing and finding a sympathetic hearing for the doctrine 
of the Christian faith seemed hopeless. 38 

The eclipse of the great Church of the East in the fourteenth 
century is not without lessons that should be remembered by 
Christians through all time. The tragedy that befell the Nesto- 
rians in the Yuan dynasty has often led to the question arising 
out of bewilderment: "Where was God that he would allow 
Christianity to be persecuted almost to extinction? " This ques- 
tioning reveals that mankind needs to rediscover anew the con- 
fidence that history is in God's hands and that it has a goal, sur- 
passing human understanding. 39 The revelation of God is not 
finished it continues. The Church must open its eyes, more 
than it does, to see how God is perpetually revealing himself. 40 
The late archbishop of Upsala reminded us that " God reveals 
himself in history, outside the Church as well as in it. ... 
God reveals himself as much in the vicissitudes of nations as 
in the institutions of religion." 41 

Failure to discern the reasons for the lost Churches of China 
under the Yuan dynasty has prevented Christendom from de- 
riving help from the lessons imparted out of this tragedy. 
That God moved in this crisis there can be no doubt. The Nes- 
torians in this period had become a privileged and powerful 
group that held positions of political preferment under the 
Mongol court The Franciscans sought the same. They both 
vitiated their witness by their rivalries and contradicted their 
message by their hatreds. In the end Christians of both Europe 

66 The Lost Churches of China 

and Asia were caught in the conflagration of their politics 

The scourge of the Moslems under Tamerlane, followed fr 
the Black Death which it unleashed, must be faced by Chris 
tians as a judgment of the God of history against thos 
Churches which willfully attempted to strengthen their posi 
tion by placing their trust in political alliances with the king 
doms of this world, ignoring the words of their Lord: **Th 
kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21). The Nestorian 
and Roman Catholics in China were lost in the fourteenth cen 
tury when they forgot the significance of the last phrase c 
the Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6:13). 



THIS chapter begins with the 
failure of sixteenth century 

Christians, because of their intolerant attitude, to make any 
headway in China. For fifty years the Society of Jesus kept 
knocking in vain at the gate of Can-ton, until a little group of 
Jesuit scholars were given special permission to make a radi- 
cally different approach. In their remarkable successes, in the 
seventeenth century, they so far outran the parent Church by 
their fearless and progressive methods of cultural adaptation 
that they were enjoined by the pope as a result of the rites 
controversy. The outstanding mind of this group was Matteo 
Ricci, who adopted the terms used by Confucius to denote the 
Supreme Being in order to make real to the Chinese the Chris- 
tian idea of God. However, Riccfs own associates were not pre- 
pared fully to accept his views. Without his scholarly research 
the Jesuits would have been utterly unaware that there was 
any knowledge of God in China before their arrival. The Jesuits 
were products of their own day and imbued with the strong 
conviction that political means should be employed to obtain 
protection and support for their work. The historical records 
show that their political schemes nullified most of the good 
they rendered through their cultural contributions. They were 
continually running into difficulty because of their connection 
with the colonial and imperialistic designs of Portugal, which 
had pledged its support to the pope. 1 In the end they were 
suppressed because of their political involvements both abroad 

68 The Lost Churches of China 

and in China. But this fact must not unduly prejudice one 
against them, lest the creative contributions they have given 
Christian missions be overlooked and lost. 

In fairness to the Jesuits it should be said that when the 
Spanish missionaries arrived at a later date, they were just as 
politically minded. The age was one of intense identification 
of Christianity with Western culture, empire, trade, and power, 
which unfortunately characterizes many aspects of Christianity 
down to the twentieth century. Clashes among missionaries 
were inevitable because of the intransigent position which was 
characteristic of the Spanish Franciscans, Dominicans, and 
Augustinians, who lacked any capacity for cultural appreciation 
of the Chinese, and envied the successes of the Jesuits. Jealousy 
blinded them and was responsible for the acrimonious " Rites 
Controversy " which raged for a hundred years and seriously 
handicapped all missionary work in China. The Jesuits tol- 
erated certain Chinese rites, such as veneration of ancestors. 
These rites were denounced by rival groups and the Jesuits 
were accused of attaining their great successes by compromis- 
ing the Christian faith. But it was the political intrigues of the 
missionaries that were ultimately responsible for the suppres- 
sion of the faith and the banishment of missionaries by imperial 
edict in 1724. The lost Churches of this period, which suf- 
fered destruction and martyrdom, cry out to heaven that the 
Church come to its senses and " render therefore unto Caesar 
the things which are Cassar's; and unto God the things that are 
God's" (Matt. 22:21). 

In the famous papal bulls of May 3 and 4, 1493, Pope Alex- 
ander VI drew a line of demarcation between the colonial 
dreams of Spain and Portugal. 2 The Treaty of Tordesillas, 
which was concluded in 1494, moved the dividing line between 
the projected colonial empires of Spain and Portugal 370 
leagues west of the Azores. This was ratified in 1506 by Pope 
Julius II. 3 Thus in their expansion to the East the Portuguese 
were motivated, as were the Spaniards to the West, not only 
by economic aims but by a fanatical zeal to spread Christianity 

Missionary Mandarins 69 

and to turn back the pagan world. The identity of Christianity 
and European cultural forms and customs was so much be- 
lieved that even slight concessions to non-European usages or 
attitudes ran the risk of being regarded as a betrayal of the 
faith. It was the age of the Inquisition. Pope Nicholas V, on 
January 8, 1455, had enlarged the privileges of the Portuguese. 
Pope Leo X further extended these privileges over all lands 
discovered or conquered, "from the Capes of Bojador and 
Neon to the Indies, wherever situated and even though in our 
day unknown." * 

Thus the missionary movement became entwined with the 
political dreams of conquest. The clergy or laity were forbidden 
to trade, or to fish or to sail the seas, in these remote regions of 
the Orient without the permission of the king of Portugal. In 
return for these privileges the king was obligated to promote, 
as far as possible, the spread of Christianity in the sphere of in- 
fluence assigned to him by the pope. The king was to send, and 
support, missionaries into these regions, and not only provide 
for their maintenance but establish churches, chapels, cloisters, 
and other mission foundations. Thus emerged the worst ex- 
pression of Europeanism, the union of the missionary task with 
the colonial imperialism that has prevailed to a greater or less 
extent in connection with Roman Catholic missions until mod- 
ern times. The Portuguese explorers of the fifteenth century 
were soon followed by Portuguese conquerors in the sixteenth 

"In the first ten years of the sixteenth century, the naval vic- 
tories of the Portuguese Albuquerque imprisoned Islam in the Red 
Sea and established in Asiatic waters the supremacy of the Chris- 
tian flag. The papacy saw opening before its apostles the great 
maritime routes leading to China, Japan and the Philippines, the 
Moluccas." 5 

Europe of the sixteenth century was ill prepared for the mis- 
sionary task. Courage, zeal, heroic self-sacrifice abounded with 
bigotry and intolerance. To uproot the non-Christian violently 
and to plant instead a Christian culture, which to the Roman 

70 The Lost Churches of China 

world of the Middle Ages meant a European culture, was con- 
sidered to be the work of God. Tolerance for the ideas of others 
could only be evidence of the betrayal of the eternal King. This 
was the spirit that engendered the Inquisition. It had departed 
from the Christian tolerance of the first centuries, when Saint 
Augustine could speak with respect of the natural virtues of 
non-Christians. 6 As a slowly growing awareness of other non- 
Christian peoples besides the Moslems dawned upon the con- 
sciousness of Europe, the papacy set itself to conquer the entire 
non-Christian world. The Crusades had developed this attitude 
of undertaking missions to the " heathen " with the cross and 
the sword. 7 To the Roman Church of the Middle Ages, all non- 
Christians were doomed to hell; the Roman Catholic mission- 
aries of this period were sure of it. Moreover, the age was one 
of intense intolerance of all Christians who did not acknowl- 
edge the supremacy of the pope. Evidences of this mood are 
found in the massacre of the Nestorians, who had survived the 
Moslem scourge of the fourteenth century, on the Malabar 
coast of India. When the Portuguese reached there, they 
brought the Inquisition with them. The Jesuits gave the Nes- 
torians the choice of death by the sword or submission. Thou- 
sands perished, while others preferred to live even though life 
meant acceptance of the supremacy of the pope. Roman authors 
admit this a clash and intrigue." 8 The Jesuits drew the member- 
ship of their Society from different countries. It was the good 
fortune of the China mission in the seventeenth century that 
men were assigned to China who manifested a more tolerant 
appreciation of non-Christian cultures. In this way they rep- 
resented a complete break with the dominant spirit of the So- 
ciety and of the age in which they moved. It was not, however, 
until the Society had experienced fifty years of failure in at- 
tempting to enter China that this new venture was permitted. 
The first Jesuit to set foot on the mainland of China was 
Melchior Baretto, who landed on the island of Shang-ch'uan 
in 1555 in July. By November he had reached Macao. Being 
unable to go beyond Macao, except for two brief excursions 

Missionary Mandarins 71 

with the Portuguese traders to Can-ton, where he was pre- 
vented from preaching, he departed for Japan the next year. 10 
Shortly afterward, a Dominican, Caspar da Cruz, arrived at 
Macao. His efforts met with no more success than was experi- 
enced by Baretto. His mission a failure, he returned to India. 11 
The Portuguese had been allowed to carry on a small amount 
of trade with China through their settlement at Macao, but in 
all other respects the Chinese were as firm as ever in their re- 
solve to allow no foreigner to enter China. 12 All efforts to break 
down this reserve met with disillusionment. In 1573 the Chi- 
nese erected a small wall between Macao and the mainland. 
The guarded gate was opened once every fifteen days to allow 
foodstuffs for the Macao market. Eight Jesuits had reached Ma- 
cao by 1563. There they stayed, unable to enter China. They 
devoted themselves to the five thousand inhabitants of the pen- 
insula, of whom only nine hundred were Portuguese. In No- 
vember, 1565, Francisco Peres determined to renew the efforts 
to enter China. He accompanied Portuguese merchants on 
their semiannual trading visit to Can-ton. 13 The magistrate was 
courteous, but suggested that Peres should first endeavor to 
learn the Chinese language. Three years later Joao Baptesta 
Ribeira, a pioneer Jesuit, tried to force his way into China. 
He arranged for a Chinese boatman to take him to the coast, 
whence he hoped to set out on foot, unaided, unauthorized, un- 
versed in the Chinese language, to evangelize China. This 
failed and incurred the displeasure of his superiors and led 
to his recall to Europe. Ribeira, upon his return to Europe, 
wrote to the general of the Society of Jesus in 1575, " During 
the three years I resided at Macao (1568-1570), I did every- 
thing possible to penetrate the continent, but nothing I could 
think of was of any avail." 14r Jesuits of Blbeira's spirit believed 
that the sword must be used to carve the way of the cross, 15 and 
pleaded their cause with eloquence: 

" If the princes of Europe, instead of quarrelling among them- 
selves, would undertake to extend the Kingdom of Christ and force 
the sovereign of China to grant to the missionaries the right to 

72 The Lost Churches of China 

preach and to the natives the right to hear the truth, the Chinese 
people would easily be converted, because our morals and our re- 
ligion find favor with them." 1Q 

Meanwhile the flag of Spain appeared in the Far East and 
was planted on the island of Cebu in the Philippines in 1565. 
The missionaries accompanying the Spanish conquerors were 
Augustinians. To them the Philippines were but island step- 
pingstones en route to China. Ten years later the first two Au- 
gustinians, de Rada and Marin, took advantage of a Chinese 
ship returning from the Philippines to Fu-kien. The viceroy of 
Fu-kien received them with courtesy, but when the Spaniards 
attempted to stroll around the city of Foo-chow, they were 
politely confined to guest quarters. The viceroy entertained his 
guests at a military review, and served them a feast, but gave 
no reply to their request that they be allowed to remain in 
China to preach the gospel. Instead, after presenting them with 
gifts, he sent them back to Manila in Chinese ships. Fortunately 
the gifts included about a hundred volumes of Chinese books 
in which they could have begun a study of Chinese culture. 17 

Four years later the Franciscans arrived at Manila to make 
their attempt to enter China. "There is nothing to indicate 
that the Franciscans of the sixteenth century were in any way 
aware that earlier Franciscans had successfully entered China 
and lived there two hundred and fifty years before them, 
notably John of Monte Corvino." 1S As soon as possible four 
Franciscans, Alfaro, Lucarelli, Tordesillas, and Beza, set sail 
for China with three soldiers, four native Filipinos, and a 
young Chinese as their interpreter. They landed near Can-ton, 
with the skill of their young guide escaped notice of all sen- 
tries on the coast, and were not detected until they had gained 
entry of the city of Can-ton. Once discovered, they were 
harshly treated, resulting in the death of Beza. Tordesillas re- 
turned to the Philippines. Lucarelli and Alfaro were permitted 
to remain at Macao. 19 

The presence of the Franciscans in Can-ton aroused the Por- 
tuguese merchants at Macao ? who were always fearful of Span- 

Missionary Mandarins 73 

isli encroachments upon what the Portuguese claimed as their 
sphere of influence. The Portuguese bishop at Macao gave 
hospitality to the Franciscans, but the opposition of the Por- 
tuguese merchants did not abate. * All their fears come from the 
fact that they expect to be attacked by a squadron of Spaniards, 
and think that we have come to China as spies to do them harm 
and to interfere with their commerce." 20 In 1581 the Fran- 
ciscans were forced to leave Macao. When Philip II of Spain 
became king of Portugal, the old argument which resulted in 
the division of the world of conquest between Spain and Porto- 
gal, and which had been used by Portuguese Jesuits to keep 
Spanish Franciscans and others out of China, was challenged. 
Those who think that the Chinese are without grounds for their 
suspicions of missionaries should note how diligently certain na- 
tionalistic minds wove the missionary task into the pattern of 
imperial and colonial conquests. 

In 1583 the bishop of Manila, Domenico de Salazar, took up 
the fight and wrote to Philip: 

<e Granting as established the titles and rights which Your Majesty 
holds and possesses in all the Indies as king of Spain, and those 
which you have in China as king of Portugal , . . I maintain 
. . . that you can send an army so strong that the whole power of 
China will be helpless to injure it, and that this army has the right 
to enter and traverse the provinces of China; it can impose peace 
upon those who disturb order; it can oblige the king and the offi- 
cials of this realm to allow the gospel to be preached and to pro- 
tect its heralds. . . . If the king of China should be so perverse as 
to prohibit the preaching of the gospel, Your Majesty can even 
deprive him of his kingdom. . . . Let Your Majesty set everything 
else aside, even were it question of the conquest of a thousand 
Flanders or the recovery of the Holy Land. Neither Julius Caesar 
nor Alexander the Great was ever confronted with the challenge of so 
magnificent a military venture; and there has not been since apos- 
tolic times a spiritual undertaking of such high importance." 21 

On December 12, 1600, Pope Clement VIII removed the re- 
striction that had barred all religious orders but the Jesuits 
from China, and permitted orders, regardless of nationality, 
to labor in China. However, Portugal "bullied out of the 
Curia " 22 a regulation that all non-Portuguese missionaries to 

74 The Lost Churches of China 

southern and eastern Asia would be required to pass through 
Lisbon and Goa, by which process the Portuguese delayed 
their departure for as much as two years. 25 

The Church that embarked on these missionary adventures, 
financed by the colonial expansion of Spain and Portugal, was 
the Church that had just used the Inquisition to force Galileo 
to recant upon his knees and renounce his " dangerous doc- 
trine/' But the same Church had discovered that the earth 
moved just the same. The jolt to orthodoxy threw enough 
doubt upon the rigidity of that period to prompt younger 
scholars to launch out in independent thought. Such was 
AJessandro Valignano, the superior of the Society of Jesus. No 
one before him had revealed any respect for the Chinese and 
their historic past. When he visited Macao, Valignano realized 
that the Portuguese Jesuits there were imbued with a narrow 
and intense nationalism which identified Christianity with 
Portuguese culture. 24 In response to his request the Society of 
Jesus sent out Michele Ruggieri, an Italian, who arrived at 
Macao in 1579. On his arrival, Ruggieri found a letter awaiting 
him from Valignano, directing him to " read, write, and speak " 
the Chinese language. No one had yet begun this task. The 
Jesuits at Macao required their converts to learn the Portuguese 
language. Until this was accomplished, they conversed with 
the Chinese through interpreters. Valignano's perception of the 
problem and his proposed solution found no sympathy from 
the Portuguese. Ruggieri was confronted with two difficulties, 
first, an utter lack of sympathy for the work he had been given 
by the superior because he was not a Portuguese, and secondly, 
the position of superiority assumed by the Jesuits at Macao 
derived from their years of prior residence. They scoffed at the 
idea of wasting time and strength to learn the Chinese lan- 
guage. The superior at Macao continually assigned Ruggieri 
duties designed to interrupt his studies of the Chinese language. 
After eighteen months of this, Ruggieri was almost heart- 
broken. On November 8, 1580, he wrote to the general of the 
Society: " It would be wise for your paternity to recommend 

Missionary Mandarins 75 

this enterprise to our superiors in India, because if Father 
Alessandro Valignano were not here, I do not know what would 
happen to this business of the conversion of China. I write this 
because I hear certain ones say: * What is the sense of this father 
occupying himself with this sort of thing when he could be of 
service in the other ministries of the Society? It is a waste of 
time for him to learn the Chinese language and to consecrate 
himself to^a hopeless enterprise.'" 25 Those Jesuits who shared 
Valignano's dream for China were soon convinced that the only 
hope of their success lay in keeping out of China the divisive 
and hostile influences within the Roman Church itself, until 
they had demonstrated the worth of the new policy they pro- 
posed to follow. The greatness of the Jesuits in China in the 
seventeenth century lies in their radical departure from the ac- 
cepted pattern of missionary work as followed by their Society 
in Macao and other lands. 

Ruggieri accompanied Portuguese merchants to Can-ton for 
the first time in November, 1580. En route up the Pearl River, 
he persuaded the merchants of the importance of paying re- 
spect to Chinese customs, to which they had never given a 
thought. For this reason the Chinese had insisted that the Por- 
tuguese were barbarians. The officials on this visit were sur- 
prised and pleased with Ruggieri. It was the first time they had 
before them a " barbarian *' who spoke their language and who 
revealed a respect for Chinese customs. 26 When Ruggieri asked 
permission to remain on land instead of on board die ships, as 
the Portuguese traders were obliged to do, the officials granted 
his request and assigned him a small house and issued an order, 
forbidding, under pain of death, any injury to the foreign 
guest. It was thus that the unyielding door to China, so long 
closed to the repeated efforts of half a century, began to open 
with gracious welcome to the first foreigner who took the trou- 
ble to understand the language and customs of the Chinese. 27 
When Ruggieri came the second time to Can-ton with the 
traders in 1581, he repeated his request to be allowed to re- 
main on shore, He was assigned the residence set apart by the 

76 The Lost Churches of China 

government for official visitors. In the official audiences., wlien 
the Portuguese traders were compelled to kneel, the officials 
permitted Ruggieri to stand. On his third visit in November, 
1581, the friendliness of the Chinese officials increased. The 
welcome to Ruggieri did not please the Portuguese Jesuits at 
Macao. Moreover he was rebuked by the Franciscan Montillas 
for solemnizing the Mass in the presence of unbelievers. 28 It 
was at this time that Ruggieri worked on his translation for the 
Chinese, " An Exposition of Christian Doctrine/' In 1583, Rug- 
gieri could proceed with a freedom from control by Macao, 
because Valignano, on discovering the friction, transferred the 
superior of Macao to another assignment. He requested the 
officials of Can-ton, in writing, to give a little piece of land 
** on which we may build with our alms a small church and 
house in order that we may there serve the King of heaven 
whom we adore/' 29 Within a week, an officer of the Chinese 
government appeared at the Jesuit residence at Macao with 
an official permission from the prefect of Chao-chlng, grant- 
ing this request. Ruggieri, accompanied by Matteo Ricci, 
reached Chao-ch'ing in September, 1583. There the two mis- 
sionaries founded, on property given them by the viceroy, the 
first Jesuit mission in the interior of China. These young men 
spent their lives in China, fax removed from Europe by both 
distance and time. Thus they were relatively free to develop 
their mission on original lines. This is the secret of their success. 
Riccf s thinking was dominated by his project of a papal em- 
bassy in China, which he believed the essential step toward the 
evangelization of the country. 30 He felt that this objective 
called for the utilization of every agency the Society could 
command. At the outset he felt that the first step to be taken 
called for a deeper study and appreciation of Chinese culture, 
language, history, philosophy, and religion. Therefore, after 
gaining command of the language, he applied himself to a 
serious study of the classics. In his In senectute mea he wrote: 
* I return as a boy to school; it is not so great a thing inasmuch 
as I have resolved to do it for love of Him who, though God, 

Missionary Mandarins 77 

became man for love of me." 31 

Evidence of the command of Chinese language acquired by 
Ricci is discernible in his early differentiation between the 
original teachings of Confucius and the interpretations given 
to these texts by the Neo-Confucian school of Chu Hsi in the 
Sung period. The latter were frankly and deeply materialistic. 
Ricci became convinced that the original works attributed to 
Confucius held a much loftier meaning. It was this fine sense 
of perception and accuracy that marked Biccfs scholarship. 
This discovery influenced his entire approach to the missionary 
task in China, and when it was brought to light by Ricci, it 
profoundly influenced Chinese thought. His research convinced 
him that this materialistic emphasis had been arbitrarily im- 
posed, or it would be more correct to say that it had been 
superimposed, on the original teachings of Confucius, and the 
superstructure attributed as a whole to Confucius by the Neo- 
Confucian school. Once he discovered this, Ricci began to 
work with increased zeal to discover such truths in the ancient 
classics of China as would serve as cultural stocks upon which 
he could graft Christian teachings. In November, 1585, he 
wrote: "I have, therefore, noted many passages that favor 
the doctrines of our faith.'* 32 Searching for the Chinese words 
with which to express Christian concepts of God, and such 
theological terms as " salvation," was a radical innovation in a 
Church that had permitted only Latin terms. Ricci was op- 
posed by Longobardo, who insisted that the Chinese had no 
notion of the spiritual substance of the true God, of angels, 
or of the soul. Ricci was supported by the Chinese scholars 
in his belief that "the ancients in China, by observing the 
natural law, were saved through the help which God gives to 
those who on their part do aU they can to receive it." 3S His 
position seemed scandalous to many of his contemporaries, 
although it is given strong support in theology and is based on 
the utterances of Jesus. Although his discovery was based 
solely on the original Confucian documents, without any of 
the archaeological data now available, nevertheless Ricci's 

78 The Lost Churches of China 

conceptions are essentially true, 34 Rising far above the Euro- 
peanism of his day, daring to disagree with the Jesuits at 
Macao, confronting the difficulties that had blocked every 
attempt to enter China for half a century, consumed with an 
utter devotion to his Lord and Saviour, whom he would make 
known to China, Ricci blazed a path conceived in his own 
mind and justified by the example of missionaries of the first 
centuries of the Christian Era. He simply adopted the same 
attitude toward Confucius as the Early Church had adopted 
toward the Greek philosophers. He held that the idea of God 
in the Confucian texts embodied a monotheistic concept of the 
highest order. 

Soderblom has contributed a valuable chapter on the mono- 
theistic concept embodied in the ancient Chinese use of Shang 
Ti. It transcends the impersonal idea in Tien, which is so 
commonly used for heaven. The use of Shang Ti implies the 
presence of the numen, or soul, which is not found where 
Tien is used. Soderblom finds importance in the fact that 
Shang Ti is used with the same meaning in different dynasties 
of Chinese history. Had it not this transcendent meaning and 
had it not always conveyed the idea of God to the Chinese, it 
would have had to change under the pressures exerted by the 
different trends in different dynasties. 35 Shang Ti is seldom 
used to mean " heaven " in the same sense as Tien. Since the 
discovery of the royal tombs, from a Stone Age period to 
the middle of the millennium preceding the Christian Era, at 
An-yang in Ho-nan province in the twentieth century, scholars 
have confirmed the validity of Riccf s position. The royal tombs 
of An-yang revealed a treasure of carvings on bone which have 
added much light to an unknown period of Chinese history. 36 
Modern scholars like Pelliot, Creel, and Menzies have had ac- 
cess to vastly greater and more accurate source materials than 
were available to Ricci. Their confirmation of the essential 
accuracy of Riccfs perceptions is a remarkable tribute to his 
scholarship and integrity. Although China possessed a hier- 
archy of gods, Shang Ti was unmistakably above this galaxy 

Missionary Mandarins 79 

of deities which man had postulated to explain the various 
phenomena of his experience, and, as used in the earliest Chi- 
nese classics, it held the idea of " Creator " as a definite mono- 
theistic conception. The term " Shang Ti " has been rejected by 
the Roman Catholic Church as an appropriate name for God, 
although Ricci and the early Jesuits used it most effectively 
for fifty years before the rites controversy. In the twentieth 
century it has been generally adopted by Protestant mission- 
aries for the name of God, since for more than three thousand 
years it has stood for the chief deity of the Chinese, and thus 
Ricci's search for truth was not wasted. 37 

Critics at times have jumped to the conclusion that Riccf s 
appreciation of the values in the ancient classics was but part 
of a diabolical or Jesuitical plot to ally the Christian mission 
with Confucian ethics to oppose Buddhism and Taoism, and 
gain at the same time an advantage over rival missions of the 
Franciscans and the Dominicans. The Spanish missionaries 
most unjustly accused Ricci and his associates in their letters 
to Rome. 38 Ricci discovered that there did exist in the Chinese 
classics preambles of faith and reasoned conclusions that 
postulated the existence of God, of a spiritual soul, and of im- 
mortality. Ricci, in thus resolutely taking a stand on the terrain 
of Confucius' philosophy, seems to us simply to have renewed 
upon the shores of the Pacific Ocean what Justin Martyr, Athe- 
nagoras, and Clement of Alexandria had attempted in the Hel- 
lenic world. 39 

There still persists in the thought of many regarding this 
period that the Jesuits from the outset had determined upon 
a strategy of employing Confucian ethics to bolster their posi- 
tion in China. One Protestant author feels " the lines of strategy 
having been determined, it remained to carry them out, and this 
required an intelligence and a personality above the ordinary. 
These Ricci possessed." * This implies that the strategy was pre- 
determined and Ricci chosen to implement It. The facts reveal 
that no strategy of this nature existed. What emerged was the 
discovery, by a diligent scholar, that God was in China before 

80 The Lost Churches of China 

the arrival of the Jesuits. 41 He attempted to win his colleagues 
and his Church to see this, and urged them to employ the 
Chinese terms for God. While Rome took fifty years to make up 
its mind, Chinese scholars admitted the correctness of Ricci's 
discovery. When Rome repudiated it, and forbade the use of 
Shang Ti as a term for God, the confidence of the Chinese 
scholars was shattered. 

Ricci was equally alert in the realization that China needed 
to adapt itself to the scientific truths that had been discovered 
in Europe, particularly in mathematics and astronomy. He be- 
lieved that it would be unnecessary to confute the Buddhist 
doctrines, but would be sufficient to teach the sciences; the 
Chinese upon learning the truths of nature, would of them- 
selves recognize the falsity of the Buddhist teaching. The Bud- 
dhists in addition to their false theological speculations had 
pronounced on questions of astrology and cosmography. Ricci 
noted: "Many after learning our mathematical science make 
sport of the laws and doctrines of the Buddhists. . . . Attempt- 
ing to explain the recurrent cycle of day and night, they say 
that during the night the sun hides behind the mountain called 
Simui. . . . Attempting to explain the cause of solar and lunar 
eclipses, they say that a genie, called Holchan, causes the 
eclipse of the sun by covering the moon with his left hand/* 42 
Ricci believed that the Chinese would rightly judge that it was 
unreasonable to give credit in supernatural matters pertaining 
to the next life to those who fall into so many errors in matters 
pertaining to this Me. 43 Because of these considerations the 
Society of Jesus was asked to send to the China mission scholars 
whose brilliant achievement in the field of astronomy would 
confound the conceit and complacency in Chinese thought. 44 
Arthur W. Hummel, chief of the division of Orientalia at the 
Library of Congress, who spent many years in China, feels 
that ** there is nothing more certain than that Ricci was in inti- 
mate touch with and had a deep understanding of the various 
currents of Chinese thought, whereas the contrary is true of 
later critics of his methods," It was a Chinese scholar who 

Missionary Mandarins 81 

studied mathematics under Riccf s direction during Ms stay at 
Nan-king (1599-1600) who urged upon Ricci the instrumental 
efficacy of science in propagating Christianity. He believed 
science would arouse a questioning spirit that would not be 
content with tradition in the face of contradictory facts. 

In the spring of 1600 a eunuch, who was in charge of a small 
flotilla of barges bearing silk to the court, agreed to take Ricci 
and his companion to Pe-king, on the Grand Canal. They had 
waited long years for this opportunity. After forty-five days 
they reached Lin-tsing in Shan-tung, where they were held 
awaiting an imperial order that arrived in January, 1601, per- 
mitting them to go on to Pe-king. On arrival they were ex- 
amined by the Board of Ceremonies. On this first visit to Pe- 
king, Ricci carried letters of introduction in which he sought 
official permission to establish himself in the capital. From the 
outset he was a pawn in the machinations of the eunuchs at- 
tached to the court and was held in detention. Only after con- 
siderable delay were the two priests permitted to enter the 
forbidden city. Their gifts were presented to the emperor by 
the eunuchs. One of the gifts was a clock in which the emperor 
showed the keenest interest because it sounded the hours. But 
when the clock stopped, no one knew how to start it and the 
Jesuits had to be summoned again to start the clock. Thus they 
were held near the palace until they could teach the eunuchs 
how to operate the clock. In 1601 the two Jesuits were released 
from detention and allowed to rent a lodging of their own. 
According to Riccfs commentaries, he never once saw the 
emperor Wan Li. 

" From 1601 until his death in 1610 he remained at the cap- 
ital, arousing interest of the educated class in European science 
and technology, making converts, and reported to the Church 
in Rome." 45 Since 1588 there had been continual strife in the 
palace between the eunuchs and the scholar officials. The 
Jesuits began their work at a time when the intellectuals were 
organizing in groups to combat the machinations of the eu- 
nuchs. The patriotic intellectuals were almost in despair. It 

82 The Lost Churches of China 

was into this maelstrom that the Jesuits carried their intellec- 
tual approach. 46 Ricci set out to combat what he conceived to 
be the two chief obstacles to the propagation of the Christian 
faith. He found that the Jesuits were suspect because they were 
supported by the Portuguese government. The Jesuits never 
escaped from this handicap, that their support came from the 
king of Portugal in exchange for the grant to him by the pope 
of all the lands of the East. The second obstacle was the foreign 
attributes of Christianity: it was a new doctrine in a land that 
had turned its back on both the foreigner and the future. For 
these reasons Ricci sought friends among the scholars in the 
literary and philosophical societies. The most important of 
these was the Tung Lin Society, which subsequently developed 
a political significance as the Tung Lin Party. This was not 
deemed a handicap by the Jesuits but rather their opportunity. 
They hoped to make Christians of some of the scholars, and 
that someday these men would be officials and that through 
them there would be an increasingly favorable attitude toward 
Christianity on the part of officials. It is not an accident that 
during the last forty years of the Ming dynasty all the eminent 
Christian converts of the scholar class and the many non- 
Christian friends of the Jesuits emerged from these societies. 
Ricci set out to convince the scholars of China that the sciences 
of the West were soundly based and would confound super- 
stitions, and that the materialism of Chu Hsi was not an integral 
part of the original ethics of Confucius. 

The Jesuits were repeatedly embarrassed by the highly ex- 
aggerated reports that were circulated in Macao and the Phil- 
ippines and from there to Europe regarding their amazing 
successes in China. 47 Riccf s own records reveal only modest 
reports. Writing to his brother in Macerata in 1608, he re- 
ported that there were in China at that time more than two 
thousand Christians, among them many scholars. This repre- 
sented the work of twenty-six years. Ricci constantly warned 
against lowering the standards to seek a larger number of con- 
yerts. In his last letter from P^-king h stressed the urgency of 

Missionary Mandarins 83 

sending missionaries to China who are not only " good, but also 
men of talent, since we are dealing here with a people both in- 
telligent and learned." 4S 

In 1610, Matteo Ricci died, following a sudden illness in the 
month of May. The tribute to him from the imperial court is 
eloquent of its esteem for China's distinguished guest. The im- 
perial rescript gave to the Jesuits the title to a plot of land 
situated near the gate of the western wall of Pe-king where 
Ricci was buried. During his life no formal reply had come 
from the court to his request for permission to remain in Pe- 
king. He had received only a verbal message assuring him that 
the emperor would be displeased if he should leave Pe-king. 
Now, upon his death, the imperial rescript was interpreted by 
the Jesuits at Pe-king as official recognition. Whether the 
emperor intended it to be so, or not, the rescript gave an im- 
plied protection to the Christian religion. At least it signified 
honor which led to encouraging developments, 

In December, 1610, the astronomers of the Imperial College 
erred in predicting the solar eclipse. One of the Christian con- 
verts persuaded the Board of Ceremonies to petition the em- 
peror to entrust the correction of the calendar to the Jesuits. 
The emperor gave his approval and de Ursis and de Pantoia 
accepted the assignment. The mathematicians attached to the 
imperial court soon vented their jealousy, and the opposition 
became so serious that the emperor ordered the project aban- 
doned. It was at this point that serious trouble began for the 
Jesuits. Their superior scientific knowledge discredited the 
officials at the court, who " lost face.*' To them the Jesuit schol- 
ars were rivals who presaged their complete ruin. In May, 
1616, a leader of the reactionary school memorialized the 
throne to have the Jesuits and their converts condemned to 
death, on the grounds that they acknowledged the Lord of 
Heaven and thus belittled the dignity of the emperor. The ac- 
cusation to the emperor from the Confucian scholars claimed 
to have discovered a subversive plot designed to overthrow 
the empire. The memorial was secretly presented at Pe-king, 

84 The Lost Churches of China 

but the two Jesuits who had aroused their ire learned of it 
through their friends. Chinese Christian scholars published an 
essay in defense of the new religion, but the opposition was 
renewed until finally the Board of Ceremonies dispatched 
couriers to the provinces with orders that all missionaries 
should be arrested and imprisoned. The courage of Chinese 
Christians in this crisis was superb, and their efforts to defend 
the foreigners to whom they felt so greatly indebted were not 
lacking, but the opposition prevailed. In 1617 the emperor 
signed the edict of expulsion. 49 This edict took the four Jesuits 
in Pe-king by surprise. Efforts to reach the ear of the emperor 
with an appeal were unavailing. Those named in Pe-king and 
Nan-king were deported. Although the edict was supposed to 
wipe out Christianity, there remained in China fourteen Jesuits, 
of whom eight were European and six were Chinese lay 
brothers. These went into hiding, most of them at Hang-chow, 
where they prepared themselves for a more opportune day by 
intensive study of Chinese. 

In 1620 the chief eunuch at the court, Wei Chung-hsien, 
savagely attacked the Tung Lin scholars. All the Chinese Chris- 
tian scholars were Tung Lin academicians. The fate of Chris- 
tianity was thus related to the fate of the Tung Lin Party. The 
Tung Lin Academy in Pe-king had its own building, which Wei 
refused to regard as an Academy, insisting it was only a rendez- 
vous of rebels. This crisis increased in intensity until 1624. An 
incident contributing to the climax arose from the rivalry con- 
nected with the lunar eclipse expected on October 8, 1623. 
The minister of finance was attracted by the scientific attain- 
ments of the German Jesuit, Adam SchalL At the request of the 
finance minister, Schall calculated the time with precision. 
The minister was anxious to have this gifted scholar in the 
government service and secured an appointment for Schall to 
make a revision of the calendar. This encouraged liberal 
scholars to think it opportune to protest to the emperor re- 
garding the corruption of Wei Chung-hsien. In 1624, Yang 
Lien, who was senior vice-president of the bureau of censors, 

Missionary Mandarins 85 

bitterly denounced Wei in a Memorial to the emperor. Un- 
fortunately, this Memorial passed through the hands of the 
chief eunuch who controlled the court, and whose intrigues 
resulted in having Yang Lien and most of the leaders of the 
Tung Lin Party imprisoned on false charges. Yang died of con- 
tinual floggings. Five others were executed. Others committed 
suicide. Over three hundred scholars were stripped of all office 
and rank. By 1626 the eunuch reached the peak of his power. 
He arranged for his political appointees to petition the emperor 
to exalt the chief eunuch, whereby he was soon created a duke. 
On the death of the emperor in 1627, the chief eunuch's polit- 
ical supporters turned against Mm. The young emperor had no 
use for one who had tried to supplant him, and soon made his 
displeasure known, ordering Wei to retire to his native village, 
declaring him guilty of treason, theft, and murder. Wei com- 
mitted suicide. He remains in Chinese history as a byword 
of infamy. 50 

It was during these dark days that word reached the Jesuits 
in Pe-king, through Chinese friends, of the discovery of the Nes- 
torian monument in Sian-fu in 1623. No one, not even the 
Jesuits, knew at the time that the monument recounted the 
work of the Nestorian Christians of the seventh century. In 
the same year the Jesuits formed new missions in Shan-si, Shen- 
si, and Fu-kien, in addition to their former work at Nan-king 
and Pe-king. In the year of the discovery the chief eunuch 
was still in power and had his spies everywhere. Otherwise 
there would have been a greater outburst of enthusiasm. 51 The 
Jesuits were deeply sensitive to the importance of their dis- 
covery. In spite of the very cautious character of the official 
report to Rome, the event received extravagant publicity in 
Europe, where the Jesuits were falsely accused of having in- 
vented the story to create prestige. 

One of the objections of the Chinese, often expressed to the 
Jesuits, was the newness of Christianity. In China, more than 
anywhere else in the world, objection was always raised to 
new ideas, and reverence was given to antiquity. This was 

86 The Lost Churches of China 

particularly true in the seventeenth century. Now the basis for 
this skepticism was shattered. Nearly a thousand years be- 
fore the Jesuits the Christian gospel had been preached in the 
ancient capital and had found favor with emperors. It was 
not long after the discovery that imperial favor began to shine 
again upon the Pe-king Jesuits. In 1629 an edict of the emperor 
approved employment of the Jesuits in the work of the calendar 
reform. This edict brought great attention to the Jesuits, since 
it was published in the official gazette that reached every part 
of the empire. That this should happen so soon after the dis- 
covery of the Sian-fu monument brought further attention to 
the Jesuits, who received the congratulations of the scholar- 
officials. Three Jesuits, Schall, Terrenz, and Longobardo, be- 
came employees of the imperial government. Under SchalFs 
leadership they rose to positions of great influence and held a 
rank that no European had ever held before them. Others 
joined them, and in the course of the next forty years three 
Jesuits served as head of the bureau. In the scientific service 
of the court the Jesuits enjoyed a prestige that was not given to 
the missionaries in the provinces. In 1627, after nearly fifty 
years in China, and almost a century after the Society began 
to knock at the door of China from Macao, the Jesuits reported 
a total of 18,000 baptisms up to that date. Within ten years 
after the discovery of the historic monument, the number of 
baptisms increased to 40,000. By 1647 it had reached 150,000, 
and by 1667 the number recorded was 263,780. 52 

The successes attending the Jesuit labors soon were noised 
abroad and encouraged the Spanish missionaries to renew their 
attempts to open missions in China. In 1631 a Dominican 
landed in Fu-kien. Although ordered deported, a Japanese 
was substituted for him and Angelo Cocchi remained, dis- 
guised in Chinese clothes and shorn of his beard. He wrote 
back to his superior that missionaries should have a knowl- 
edge of the Chinese language, and warned that * simply to 
land on the coast as so many continued to advocate was only 
to incur the wrath of the Chinese and unfailingly be de- 

Missionary Mandarins 87 

ported." In 1633, Pope Urban VIII extended permission to 
all orders to send missionaries to China. In that year three 
more Spanish missionaries reached Fu-kien in a small boat 
from Formosa. These included Juan Baptista de Morales, a 
Dominican, and two Franciscans, one of whom was Antonio 
Caballero a Santa Maria. The Spanish Franciscans journeyed 
to Nan-king, where they caused great anxiety to the Jesuits, 
who had just previously experienced the most severe perse- 
cutions. The Franciscans considered it their sacred duty to 
preach in city streets, aided by an interpreter, garbed in the 
Franciscan habit, with a crucifix in hand. The Jesuits endeav- 
ored to dissuade the newcomers, with an anxiety to prevent 
further official reprisals and persecutions. But the Franciscans 
stigmatized the Jesuit warnings as pretexts arising from jeal- 
ousy. The difficulties between these religious orders in China 
had their roots far more in differences of national tem- 
perament than in differences of religious orders. It was not 
because they were Dominicans or Franciscans but because they 
were Spaniards. Nowhere in Europe had nationalism, in par- 
ticular cultural forms, become so thoroughly identified with the 
Roman Catholic religion as in Spain. In marked contrast, 
the Jesuits in China had forsaken Europeanism and espoused 
the cause of cultural adaptation. This was radically different 
from the Jesuit policy elsewhere. The members of the China 
mission were chosen for their scholarship, and had come from 
those countries in Europe where the spirit of nationalism was 
not so dominant as in Spain and Portugal. Because of the 
Portuguese padroado, many writers have assumed errone- 
ously that the Jesuits in China were predominantly Portu- 
guese. Of the sixteen in China in the early years of the sev- 
enteenth century, only three were from Portugal, one was 
from France, one was from Germany, one was from Switzer- 
land, and ten were from Italy. This fact is essential to the under- 
standing of the bitter conflicts which arose between the 
religious orders within the Roman Catholic Church regarding 
missionary work in China. 

88 The Lost Churches of China 

The Franciscans, from the outset, sensed that the Jesuits 
were unhappy about their presence. They began to collect 
data based on interrogation of Chinese Christians and the ob- 
servations of the four Spanish missionaries. They determined to 
carry their fight to Rome. In February, 1636, Antonio a Santa 
Maria, who was later to take so prominent a part in the rites 
controversy, started for Manila, armed with arguments against 
the Jesuit policy. In 1637 a Chinese author made an attack on 
Christianity which was published in Fu-kien. The two Fran- 
ciscans, who remained in China, felt called to defend their 
faith against this attack, and left Fu-kien to follow him and 
" to defend our immaculate doctrine with argument and with 
our lives, and to preach Jesus Christ, our crucified Lord." 33 
The Franciscans lacked any knowledge of Mandarin, which 
was the official language. Accompanied by three young inter- 
preters, they arrived in Pe-king where they found hospitality 
from Adam Schall, but they found fault with everything Jesuits 
were doing. The thing that most deeply shocked the Fran- 
ciscans was a painting of the twelve apostles which hung in the 
chapel at Pe-king. Out of regard for the Chinese feelings on 
the subject, the artist had endowed the apostles with shoes of 
cloth, like those worn by the Chinese. This " scandalous " thing 
was immediately noted by the Franciscans, who later included 
it among the list of errors reported to their superiors. To them 
this was almost a complete betrayal of the faith. The minds 
that could cry scandal at so minor a concession to the Chinese 
could never be expected to understand the Jesuits of Pe-king. 
The Jesuit chapel was a gift of Emperor Wan Li in honor of 
Matteo Ricci. In acknowledgment of this imperial favor the 
Jesuits had placed upon a table in the chapel a wooden plaque 
bearing the carved inscription in Chinese: "Long Live the 
Emperor." This was fraught with no more idolatrous signifi- 
cance than the customs observed in Protestant churches in our 
day in placing the national flag in a conspicuous part of the 
sanctuary, or of the counterpart in Europe in the seventeenth 
century of *" Vive le Roi ** in France, or * God Save the King " 

Missionary Mandarins 89 

in England. But to the Spaniards, inclined to put the very 
worst interpretation upon Jesuit activities, which they always 
construed to be " schemes," the table with the plaque was in- 
terpreted as one of the idolatrous " rites." Their report of their 
discovery was later magnified in Europe through repetition, 
in the rites controversy, until the scandal of " Jesuit idolatries " 
in China rocked the Church! Did these seventeenth century 
Franciscans come to China unaware that three centuries earlier 
their famed predecessor, John of Monte Corvino, as archbishop 
of Pe-Mng, considered it his duty to go out and meet the great 
Kublai Khan in public ceremonies and bestow his blessing 
upon the emperor? It would appear that the Spaniards did not 
know that any Franciscan had been in China before them! 

While they stayed with him in Pe-king, Schall endeavored 
to dissuade the Franciscans from their determination to pre- 
sent their case to the emperor. But they only imagined that 
Jesuit jealousy was seeking to thwart their aim. They expected 
Schall to obtain permission for them to establish themselves 
permanently in Pe-king, following the interview they expected 
him to arrange for them with the emperor. Their requests re- 
vealed a profound ignorance of the true situation. The Jesuits, 
who had been almost forty years in Pe-king ? had never met the 
emperor. The Jesuits had labored patiently for twenty years 
before they had a residence, and had spent a generation win- 
ning friends and confidence. Yet the two Franciscans thought 
that all that stood between them and their objective was the 
opposition of the Jesuits. They were unconscious even of the 
first barrier of language. 54 After two weeks had elapsed, two 
officials from the Board of Ceremonies, accompanied by sol- 
diers, appeared at the house to question the visitors. The Fran- 
ciscans appeared before them with crucifix in hand " prepared 
to give their lives to preach Jesus Christ." " When the officials 
were told that unless they accepted Christianity they would 
be damned, their patience gave out and they ordered the sol- 
diers to take away the crucifixes from the missionaries. The 
two priests were forbidden to leave the house and their inter- 

00 The Lost Churches of China 

preters were led away in chains/' 55 

The Franciscans were deported in disgrace. It was an em- 
barrassing day for the Jesuits to see Christian missionaries 
paraded through the streets of Pe-king in humiliating circum- 
stances. Soon after, Schall wrote to a close friend: 

" There came to this capital two fathers of Saint Francis, deter- 
mined to be martyrs or to convert the emperor and all of the Chi- 
nese. Neither of them knew how to speak Chinese. . . . Both of 
them wore their habits. Each o them carried his crucifix in his hand 
and wanted to begin preaching. . . . We received them into our 
house, our servants waited upon them, and despite this they spoke 
most unfavourably about our affairs, as if they alone had the apos- 
tolic spirit. For this we pardon them as our older brothers/* 56 

Alvarez Semedo published a defense of the Jesuits in 1667. 

" The zeal and fervor of those who wish to convert the world in 
an instant is worthy of praise, and surely we hold it in esteem and 
veneration. But in these new missions, and especially those which 
are not capable of receiving so great a fire, which would quickly 
be extinguished because of the need for disposition of firmer con- 
sistency only developed over a period of time, we try to keep our- 
selves within the limits of prudence, always more sure, and of 
patience, more profitable for the end we have in view. The laborers 
of our Society who have too much fervor are not suitable for us. 
They should be employed in the pulpits of Europe, where their 
great fixe can iUuminate without burning/* S7 

The controversy over the Chinese rites was started in 1638. 
It arose directly from jealousy of the great missionary achieve- 
ments of the Jesuits and the inability of the Franciscans and 
Dominicans to compete. From 1649 to 1664 the Dominicans 
won slightly more than five thousand converts in fifteen years; 
the Franciscans had made less than four thousand in thirty- 
four years; while the Jesuits during the same period were bring- 
ing an average of five to six thousand converts into the Church 
annually. The Jesuits had laid a ground work, and they had not 
been discouraged with only two thousand converts in their 
first twenty years of endeavor. After fifty years of patient work 
they were reaping the rewards of their policy. They lived as 
scholars and received the honors accorded by the Chinese to 

Missionary Mandarins 91 

scholars, but the record reveals that they lived often in pen- 
ury. 58 The controversy over whether to permit certain Chinese 
ancestral rites raged for a century, receiving the attention of 
nine popes, the repeated intervention of the Congregation for 
the Propagation of the Faith, and the Inquisition. It neces- 
sitated the dispatch of two apostolic legates to China, and the 
dispatch of a special representative of the Jesuits from China 
to Rome. It was finally closed by the Constitution Ex quo 
singulari of Benedict XIV forbidding the toleration of the Chi- 
nese ancestral rites and banning further debate. 59 

The overthrow of the Ming dynasty by the Manchus saw 
years of trouble and brought heavy losses as well as gains to 
the Jesuit mission. The losses were heavy in personnel and 
property. Six Jesuit missionaries lost their lives in the disorders 
attendant upon the upheaval. The mission lost many churches 
by fire and destruction. Thanks to the favor of the CK ing em- 
peror toward Adam Schall in Pe-king, the gains soon out- 
weighed the losses. Schall was the one Jesuit who had re- 
mained in Pe-king when the Ming dynasty collapsed. On the 
arrival of the Manchus, Schall petitioned for permission to re- 
main. His petition was investigated, and granted when they 
discovered that he had in his house a large store of printing 
blocks which had been prepared for a revision of the calendar. 
"A few weeks after he was secured in the possession of his 
property, he was summoned before the Council of State to ex- 
amine the calendar for the year 1645 which had been submitted 
by the Bureau of Astronomy. Schall pointed out seven major 
errors which the officials of the Bureau, present at the inter- 
view, were forced to acknowledge. The Council ordered Schall 
to prepare the calendar for 1645." 60 A solar eclipse was ex- 
pected on September 1, 1644. On July 25, Schall presented a 
report, illustrated with sketches, in which he calculated the 
time of the eclipse for all the principal cities of the empire. A 
month later he submitted an outline of the calendar for the 
next year. The court promoted a contest between Schall and 
the local schools of astronomy. 61 This resulted in a signal vie- 

92 The Lost Churches of China 

tory for the Jesuit. The emperor conferred high honor on Schall, 
and ordered that all astronomers in the sendee of the state 
should be enrolled in his classes. 

The invading Manchus were not scholarly men. The scholars 
under the Ming dynasty had refused to support the invaders 
and fled. Thus the Ch'ing dynasty was alert to avail itself of 
the services of Adam Schaii. 62 Before the end of 1644 the em- 
peror had named Schall CUin Tien Chien-cheng, director of 
the Bureau of Astronomy. Before Schall assumed office there 
were nearly two hundred on the staff. The emperor ordered the 
staff reduced. Schall weeded out over one hundred and made 
for himself an equal number of enemies. The Manchus admired 
Schall. Within a year his prestige was reflected in the favor en- 
joyed by his fellow missionaries. SchalTs salary as director was 
two thirds that of a minister of state. This enabled him to 
strengthen the work of the mission. 

Adam Schall was the first Jesuit to meet an emperor. The 
Manchu emperor often summoned him to his palace at night 
to converse with him. Whenever he was kept there late, the 
emperor would send him back with several Manchu princes as 
a courteous escort. In utter disregard of tradition, the young 
emperor frequently visited SchalFs house. The official gazette 
kept the whole empire informed of the friendship of the em- 
peror for Schall. In the same year members of the Dutch diplo- 
matic mission which visited Pe-ldng were greatly impressed 
with the influential position of the Jesuits. One "of the em- 
bassy wrote Holland: * He is from Cologne . . . named Adam 
Schall, . . . forty-six years in Pe-king, enjoying great esteem 
with the emperor of China." 63 Another member of the em- 
bassy described the unique position of the Jesuit at the imperial 
court: ** Father Adam Schall is in such great favor with the 
prince that he has access to him at any time/* 64 Verbiest wrote 
home in 1661: ** Schall lias more influence upon the emperor 
than any viceroy or than the most respected prince, and the 
name of Father Adam is better known in China than the name 
of any famous man in Europe." 65 Vath adds: " I do not believe 

Missionary Mandarins 93 

that since the foundation of the Chinese Empire any foreigner 
has received so many marks of honor and kindly favor." 66 The 
hierarchy of the mandarinate was divided into nine classes, 
each with two divisions. As director of the Bureau of Astron- 
omy, Schall automatically was "mandarin of the fifth class/' 
first division. By 1658 he had received eight promotions until 
he finally, on February 2, was made mandarin of the first class, 
first division. Only the grand secretaries and the most im- 
portant princes of the royal blood belonged, ex officio, to this 
class. As a sign of his rank, Schall, from this time on, wore the 
red button on his hat and the gold-embroidered crane with 
open wings on the breast of his tunic. 67 On March 15, 1657, the 
emperor had ordered an inscription of praise to be erected in 
front of the church. 

Schall undoubtedly had the highest hopes of converting the 
emperor to Christianity, and the young emperor received in- 
struction in Roman Catholic doctrines, but the demands of 
the Church requiring monogamy were too exacting for him. 
SchalFs influence rapidly declined after 1658, when the young 
ruler fell under the influence of the eunuchs, who had regained 
ascendancy at the court. The eunuchs availed themselves of 
the old Buddhist trick and enticed the young emperor with con- 
cubines, by whom they lured him from Christianity to Bud- 
dhism. The eunuchs not only encouraged the emperor to in- 
dulge in sexual excesses, but they were engaged in a deep plot 
to revive Buddhism. They arranged a meeting between the 
emperor and a Buddhist monk. The monk persuaded the em- 
peror that he had been a Buddhist monk in a former incarna- 
tion. 68 On the death of the emperor in 1660, the plot thickened 
against the privileged position of the Jesuits. When Schall 
needed every faculty and when the mission most needed his 
leadership, he was stricken with paralysis, undoubtedly in- 
duced by false accusations made against Mm to the Board of 
Ceremonies by Yang Kuang-hsien. In November, 1664, the 
Regent Oboi committed the four Jesuits in Pe-king to prison. 
Adam SchaU was stripped of all his titles and subjected to 

94 The Lost Churches of China 

every indignity. In January, 1665, he was sentenced to death by 
strangulation. The other three Jesuits were ordered to be 
flogged and banished from the empire. Seven Christian offi- 
cials of the Bureau of Astronomy received the same sentence. 
Execution of these sentences was suspended while the foreign 
astronomical teachings were subjected to further tests. A solar 
eclipse was anticipated. In prison Verbiest, assisted by Schall, 
calculated the exact hour of the eclipse. When the hour ap- 
proached, the Bureau of Astronomy was crowded with members 
of the court tensely watching. The men in prison were correct 
to the minute; the Chinese scholars were again in error. The 
only result was a series of further hearings before different 
tribunals. The Jesuits were not really on trial. They were caught 
in a political conspiracy. In mid-April, the Grand Council, to 
which they had appealed, acting under pressure of the regent, 
condemned Schall and his seven Chinese colleagues to decapi- 
tation. The regent changed the sentence to the most terrible 
penalty of the Chinese criminal code dismemberment of the 
living body. Before the sentence could be carried out, the em- 
press dowager denounced the unjust persecution of her son's 
great and good friend. The regent sensed the rising resentment, 
and after five of the Chinese Christian colleagues of Schall had 
been executed, the four Jesuits were released from prison. In 
the meantime all other missionaries in China had been brought 
to Pe-Mng. In all, twenty-five Jesuits, four Dominicans, and 
one Franciscan were assembled, and in 1665 all thirty were 
banished to Can-ton, where they were kept in detention until 
1671. At the same time all churches in China were closed. 
While the thirty missionaries were being deported to Can-ton, 
the four Jesuits released from prison were allowed to remain 
in the capital. Within a year after his release from prison Adam 
Schall died peacefully on August 15, 1666, closing the most 
colorful career any foreigner, perhaps, has ever had in China. 
When he died, his work seemed to lie in ruins. 

In 1668 the new emperor ascended the throne after dis- 
solving the regency. One of Ms first acts was to order the case 

Missionary Mandarins 95 

against Schall and his colleagues reviewed. The Jesuits were 
vindicated. All SchalTs titles were posthumously restored to 
him and his confiscated properties were given to the mission. 
His body was honored with an official burial befitting his 
restored rank. Yang Kuang-hsien was sentenced to exile for 
having filed false charges. 69 The five Christian astronomers 
were posthumously restored to their ranks. In 1671 the exiled 
missionaries were permitted to return to the provinces. The 
restoration marks the beginning of another period of increas- 
ing success for the Church. The next forty years saw Roman 
Catholic missions reach their highest peak. It was during the 
reign of Kang Hsi (1662-1722) that the Jesuits made their 
second attempt to win an emperor to the Christian faith, ** The 
emperor, Kang Hsi, took a great fancy to the Christian religion 
and would have been baptized if it had not been for the fact 
that the pope disallowed ancestor worship." 70 The Jesuits de- 
fended the ceremonies performed by the Chinese in honor of 
their ancestors as not being within the category of worship. 
On this they sought papal approval in the hope that with it 
the emperor would give his assent and embrace the Christian 
faith and make it the religion of the country. 71 This was denied 
in 1705. The Catholics progressively lost favor until the court 
found it necessary to impose restrictions when the Jesuits be- 
gan to meddle in civic affairs. An imperial edict was issued 
against Roman Catholicism in 1724. Severe persecutions then 
extended all over China. Many missionaries and converts suf- 
fered death, imprisonment, or banishment. 72 Thus at the end 
the Jesuits found themselves in disfavor both with the pope 
in Europe and with the emperor in China. In 1773 the pope dis- 
solved the Society of Jesus and disillusionment became com- 

Thus the churches that were established in China through 
matchless devotion and heroism in this period were lost in 
the dispersion, in which countless numbers perished. They 
were "lost" indeed, when they discovered that their great 
leaders, the Jesuits, whose inspiration had led so many into the 

96 The Lost Churches of China 

Christian faith, were repudiated by the pope who had dis- 
solved the entire Society of Jesus. 73 The tragic fact stands out 
that Christianity in this period was first compromised by the 
papal-Portuguese dreams of imperial conquest and later the 
political struggles within the empire. The Jesuits do not hide 
the fact that they deliberately linked the cause of the Church 
with the political aspirations of Portugal and Spain, and with 
the internal politics of China. Although Ricci was correct in 
his discernment of the importance of cultural appreciation, and 
strode out miles in front of the Europeanism of his contempo- 
raries, he erred in identifying his cause with the group of politi- 
cal scholars in the Tung Lin Society. The risks were great, yet, 
in spite of repeated losses directly related to these political 
intrigues, the Jesuits adhered to this policy to the end. On the 
other hand the eunuchs were master politicians who stopped 
at nothing. Schall held the highest honor that the emperor 
could bestow, yet it was given him, not for the Christian doc- 
trines he taught, but for the scientific benefits he brought. It 
was this that shielded the Jesuits in Pe-king from persecution 
to an extent not always enjoyed in the provinces, but this privi- 
leged position incurred the jealousy of other Catholic orders 
and engendered the rites controversy which embittered the 
Church and created confusion among Chinese Christians. 

The recurring losses of the Church must be seen as a tragedy 
engulfing in persecutions innocent Chinese Christians who 
were called to face untimely death because of factors be- 
yond their knowledge and alien to the genius of the Christian 
faith. The question arises and must be answered: Is the re- 
curring opposition of forces within China against Christianity 
due to an opposition to the Sermon on the Mount? The answer 
is, "No." Is it an opposition to Jesus? Again the answer is, 
** No." Is it an opposition to the dreams of political power and 
control over human society which the organized Church of 
this period sought to implement? The answer is, ** Yes." Again 
the Christ had been betrayed by the religious leaders of the 



[N THIS chapter it will be 
- noted that in the nineteenth 
century admiration for the Middle Kingdom which had been so 
strong in Europe in the eighteenth century had disappeared, ex- 
cept on the part of a few savants, who revered China's past. 
The attitude of the West toward China in the nineteenth cen- 
tury was one of irritation, condescension, and contempt. It was a 
conflict of civilizations. In each of the spheres, economic, polit- 
ical, racial, intellectual, social, and religious, Chinese and West- 
ern cultures collided. In these important arenas Christianity 
became involved. No one can understand modern revolutionary 
China without tracing the contributions of the missionary 
movement to these avenues of thought. 

Too many still look upon the Christian movement in China 
as something that is acted upon by forces beyond its control, 
rather than as a revolutionary force itself. Christianity has been 
both a disturber and a contributor. It has shared in breaking 
down the old China. Not yet, however, had the missionary 
succeeded in demonstrating to China the unifying spirit of 
Christ. Missionaries never waved a sword. In these later days, 
however, the sword overshadowed them. Some of them even 
defended its use in cleaving China open. The dependence of 
Christian missions upon foreign military force, and the treaties 
arising therefrom, in the nineteenth century was responsible 
for the disastrous losses suffered by the Churches in the Boxer 
massacre, and for many difficulties since. No one foresaw the 

98 The Lost Churches of China 

inevitable outcome of the leaven implanted in the minds of 
Chinese students, who in turn became the leaders of revolu- 
tionary China, overthrowing the Clung dynasty and setting 
up the Republic. In spite, however, of the incompleteness of 
their witness, "the missionary's distinctive achievement was 
to help determine the character of the impact of the West and 
the quality of the transformation which follows." * 

Following the imperial edict of 1724, the Chinese were able 
to keep all foreigners from entering China for purposes of per- 
manent residence for nearly two centuries, while at the same 
time they conducted a restricted trade with European ships. 
The commerce was essential to the nation's livelihood; the dues 
charged added to the emperor's treasury. By the turn of the 
eighteenth century the Portuguese had fallen into decrepitude 
in the Far East and their possessions had largely passed into 
the hands of the Dutch. In turn the Dutch suffered reverses 
with the British and were unable to dispute the passage of the 
British to the coasts of China. Britain was on the rising tide 
of its fortunes and by 1715 the East India Company, which 
had long held a monopoly of all British overseas trade with 
Asia, had firmly established itself as the principal European 
agency trading in China. 2 Chinese regulations required the 
ships coming to trade to anchor thirteen miles below the city 
of Can-ton in the Pearl River. Foreign merchants were al- 
lowed to occupy warehouses in the Can-ton suburb during the 
limited trading season (September to March). All their busi- 
ness had to be conducted through a body of monopolist con- 
tractors known as the Hong merchants, through whom all com- 
munications had to pass. 

During the course of the eighteenth century the trade greatly 
increased in volume in spite of severe restrictions. The East 
India Company outdistanced its rivals until it may be said 
that the China trade developed into an exchange of commodi- 
ties between Britain and China. The greater the volume of 
trade, the more tiresome, insulting, and irritating seemed the 
restrictions imposed by the eight regulations of the Chinese 

The Clash of Civilizations 99 

Government, In 1795 the British Government sent the Macart- 
ney Embassy to Pe-king. This was treated in exactly the same 
way as the Dutch embassies of the previous century had been. 
It was granted nothing but was obliged to observe the ancient 
ceremony in which the emperor as " Son of Heaven " received 
tribute from the outer barbarians who had come from the 
darkness to worship the light! 

It was the expansion of the West in trade contacts that 
awakened Christians in Europe and America to the vast popu- 
lations of the world that had been without the Christian gospel 
On the crest of this wave, Robert Morrison, the first Protestant 
missionary to China, arrived off the coast of Can-ton in 1807. 
Appointed by the London Missionary Society, he had entered 
the employ of the East India Company that he might live as 
near as possible to the Chinese and learn their language. The 
arrangement that existed in the days of Portugal's deal with 
the pope, whereby the Jesuits were supported by the king, 
were gone. Tl^e East India Company was not disposed to sub- 
sidize missionaries. It became necessary for Protestants who 
were dreaming of carrying out the "Great Commission" to 
provide the costs of the undertaking. 

Morrison succeeded in translating nearly the whole Bible 
into Chinese. He made the first Chinese-English dictionary 
and wrote many tracts as a means of disseminating the Chris- 
tian message. He introduced modern medicine to China. He 
fostered education. The most valuable source of data regard- 
ing these first years of the Protestant movement is to be found 
in the volumes of the Chinese Repository, a quarterly paper 
published in Macao and Can-ton during the early years of the 
nineteenth century. Robert Morrison was one of its editors. It 
is a voluminous work. The early years in China were most dis- 
couraging. William Milne wrote in 1820: "Now admit that, 
with a proportionate increase of labourers, Christianity shall, 
in every succeeding twenty years, double its accession of num- 
bers; then at the close of the first century from the commence- 
ment of the missions the country will have one thousand 

100 The Lost Churches of China 

Christians." 3 Milne included in his estimate of one thousand 
Christians all children of Christians. One admires the faith 
that grew on so slender a stem of hope, yet at the China Cen- 
tenary Conference in Shang-hai, 1907, a total of 180,000 Prot- 
estant communicants was reported. This figure did not include 
children. 4 This notable achievement was not accomplished 
without much sacrifice. By no means were all the difficulties 
created by the Chinese. " The * heathen heart * is not alone the 
heart that bows down to idols that abound in temples of India 
and China; it is the heart which puts its trust in e reeking tube 
and iron shard/ " 5 

In the nineteenth century the missionary approach to China 
was launched by Protestant missionary societies, as though 
they were the first missionaries ever to enter China. In a 
marked degree they identified Christianity with the culture 
patterns of European and American Protestantism. Roman 
Catholics reopened their missions in the middle of the century 
and employed aggressive and political means to further their 
ends. Although Protestants and Roman Catholics found them- 
selves compromised by embarrassments arising out of the im- 
pact of Western powers on China, the idea of using political 
force to secure the rights that Christianity desired in China 
was employed by both Protestant and Roman Catholic. The 
idea died hard. This is one of the factors responsible for the 
Boxer uprising at the close of the century. One of the greatest 
handicaps the missionary movement had to combat was the 
traffic in opium in which their fellow nationals of Britain and 
America were engaged. It is important that a brief review of 
the scope of the opium trade be given here in order to appre- 
ciate the difficulties that Christians in China have ever since 
encountered because of it. 

**A decision was taken at the time of Warren Hastings to 
decrease home consumption and develop an export trade. It 
was well known that the Chinese would buy; the Portuguese 
tad been selling them for generations opium they procured at 
Malwa on the Indian coast . . The Company, therefore, 

The Clash of Civilizations 101 

resolved to build up an export to China. This was done very 
methodically; possession being obtained later on the Malwa 
crop a move which completed the ruin of the Portuguese at 
Macao and created a Company monopoly for all India. Though 
opium was also exported from Turkey to China, chiefly by tie 
Americans, this brand was very inferior and had only a small 
market, so that the Company had obtained in fact a world 
monopoly." 8 The East India Company were fully aware that 
the government of China had forbidden the importation o 
opium. The Company could not afford the risk of having their 
own ships carry it. The plot was laid to flood the China coast 
with opium smugglers who would purchase the opium in In- 
dia from the Company and sell it to " runners " off the prin- 
cipal ports of the China coast. The Company knew but they 
were always in a position to affirm their innocence to the 
Chinese authorities with whom ships of the East India flag 
conducted legitimate trade at Can-ton. 7 The Cornpany ? s reve- 
nues from these sales of opium at the Calcutta auctions rose 
steadily. In 1773 they netted a quarter of a million pounds 
sterling. By 1832 the trade in opium was a million pounds. The 
extent of the traffic is better seen by the actual number of 
chests, 150 pounds each, that were shipped to the China trade 
from India, "At the end of the eighteenth century the figure 
was in the region of 2,000 chests; in 1820, 4,770 chests; in 
1825, 9,621 chests; in 1830, 18,760 chests; and in 1836, 26,018 
chests." 8 

This was a period when the conscience of Christendom had 
not yet sensed the incongruity of slavery and was yet to be 
aroused over the evils of opium. That the people of England 
were unaware of the extent of the illegal opium trade being 
foisted on the Chinese is evidenced in a book written by a 
visitor to Can-ton at this period. 9 

When the people of England and America first learned of 
it, they did not realize that the opium trade had operated in 
direct violation of Chinese law. When the Chinese Govern- 
ment attempted to enforce its laws against opium smuggling, 

102 The Lost Churches of China 

the British merchants besought London for naval protection 
of British commerce. On the eighteenth of March, 1839, the 
foreigners at Can-ton were given an edict that took them by 

" I, Lin, Imperial High Commissioner of the Court of Heaven, 
President of the Board of War, Viceroy of Hu-kuang, issue these 
my commands to the barbarians of every nation. 

"Let the barbarians deliver to me every particle of opium on 
board their store ships. There must not be the smallest part con- 
cealed or withheld. And at the same time let the said barbarians 
enter into a bond never hereafter to bring opium in their sliips and 
to submit, should any be brought, to the extreme penaBty of the law 
against the parties involved." 10 

This edict recounted the enormous favors bestowed upon the 
foreign merchants by the emperor and the monstrous ingrati- 
tude these same had shown by seducing and deluding the sons 
of the Middle Kingdom. It reminded the barbarians that if 
they complied they would receive clemency, but if they re- 
fused, the Chinese army would be used against them and all 
trade would cease. The foreign merchants were given three 
days in which to comply. A second edict was addressed to the 
Hong merchants, who were warned that failure to secure the 
compliance of the barbarians involved penalty of death. The 
foreign merchants surrendered some 20,000 chests of opium, 
which was destroyed in 1839 near Can-ton by dissolving the 
opium in ditches of salt water and sluicing it into the sea. In 
addition, the merchants at Can-ton were required to sign bonds 
by which they pledged never to deal in opium again. Collis 
points out that some of those who signed did so with reserva- 
tions, for they at once began to operate from a new base at 
Manila. Commissioner Lin was well aware that as long as it 
was grown in India efforts would be made to sell it in China. 
Accordingly he wrote to Queen Victoria, then just beginning 
her reign: 

"Though England is twenty thousand miles from China (three 
Chinese miles to one English mile), in certain fundamentals she 
resembles her, there being in both countries the same distinction 

The Clash of Civilizations 103 

between benefit and injury and the same respect for the way of 
Heaven. The British have certainly received benefits from China: 
rhubarb, tea, raw silk. Are these not the very essentials of life? Nor 
did the Court of Heaven begrudge them, for it was acting in ac- 
cordance with the immemorial principle that even those in the 
farthest confines are human and, so, qualified to benefit by the 
Sacred Bounty. 

"But how was this incomparable benevolence received? With 
ingratitude, with the basest return. A tribe of depraved and bar- 
barous pirates had brought for sale a deadly poison, the which 
seduced the simple folk, to the destruction of their persons and the 
draining of their purse. We have reflected that this noxious article 
is the clandestine manufacture of artful schemers under the dominion 
of _ your honourable nation. Doubtless you, the honourable chief- 
tainess, have not commanded the growing and sale thereof." 1X 

There is no record that Lin's letters ever reached Queen 
Victoria. Where they were suppressed is not known. We are 
indebted to the missionary editors of the Chinese Repository 
for the translation and for preserving this attempt of the Chi- 
nese Government to bring the opium trade to an end. The 
British Government chose to ignore the issue of opium and to 
stress the arrogance of the Chinese emperor in masquerading 
as " Son of Heaven/' Wilberforce had just won his battle for 
the abolition of slavery, and had Lin's letter been revealed in 
England, there is every reason to believe that humanitarians 
would have rallied to fight this evil also. Meantime the mer- 
chants on the China coast pressed the British Government for 
action to defend British property. The issue of the British fia^ 
was fanned. The debate in the House of Commons in 1840 
reveals that the foreign minister, Lord Palmerston, made every 
effort to conceal the true state of affairs from the Commons. 
The facts began to come to light, but too late, for Palmerston 
had already ordered the fleet to sail from India to the China 
coast, and there was no telegraphic means at that time by 
which to cancel the order. In the effort to force a motion to 
suppress the opium trade, Sidney Herbert declared: 

" Unless men are blinded by faction they cannot shut their eyes 
to the fact that we are engaged in a war without just cause, that wo 

104 The Lost Churches of China 

are endeavouring to maintain a trade resting upon unsound prin- 
ciples, and to justify proceedings which are a disgrace to the British 

William Gladstone was then but thirty years of age, but he 
courageously asked the prime minister: 

"I will ask the noble lord a question. Does he know that the 
opium smuggled into China comes exclusively from British ports, 
that is, from Bengal and through Bombay? If that is a fact and I 
defy the right honourable gentleman to gainsay it then we re- 
quire no preventive service to put down this illegal traffic. We have 
only to stop the sailings of the smuggling vessels; it is a matter of 
certainty that if we stopped the exportation of opium from Bengal, 
and broke up the depot at Lin-tin, and checked the cultivation of 
it in Malwa, and put a moral stigma upon it, that we should greatly 
cripple, if not extinguish, the trade in it." 12 

Although the motion for censure was defeated by nine votes, 
Herbert and Gladstone gave voice to the conscience of Britain. 
This was a period described as " an explosion of vitality, a re- 
lease of creative energy, an age of intellectual curiosity, moral 
obliquity, economic anarchy, political wisdom, culture, cruelty, 
and sensitiveness." 13 

While Parliament debated in England, the opium trade 
thrived. The price of the drug had doubled after the destruc- 
tion of the stocks on hand in 1839 by the Chinese. The fleet 
ordered by Palmerston to proceed from India in the summer of 
1839 arrived in China in 1840. It proceeded to the mouth of 
Pei-ho River about one hundred miles from Pe-king, where the 
grand secretary met the British officials. He persuaded them to 
return to Can-ton for further negotiations, assuring them that 
the emperor was disposed to give full satisfaction. By the be- 
ginning of 1841 the British, concluding that they had been 
deceived, determined to use force. In an engagement at the 
entrance of the river to Can-ton on January 7, 1841, 500 Chi- 
nese were killed and 300 wounded. By January 20 an agree- 
ment was signed by plenipotentiaries, providing an indemnity 
of $6,000,000 for the loss of British property, namely, the 20,000 

The Clash of Civilizations 105 

chests of opium that were destroyed; the cession of the island 
of Hong-kong to the British crown to be used as a trading base; 
official intercourse to be thereafter on an equal footing; and 
trade to be reopened at Can-ton until Hong-kong was ready. 
The British Government repudiated the agreement, and both 
rebuked and dismissed their own representative for not de- 
manding larger indemnity and more concessions, and for not 
using the full strength of the force sent to him to exact his de- 

The Chinese Government repudiated the agreement and 
condemned to death the grand secretary who signed it. By 
1842 the British carried the action north against Nan-king on 
the Yang-tze River. The Chinese on August 12, after defeat of 
their forces, signified readiness to meet British demands. There 
followed the Treaty of Nan-king. It was a dictated peace. The 
Chinese now had to pay an additional $15,000,000, costs of 
the expedition against them, and consent to the opening of 
five treaty ports, Can-ton, A-moy, Foo-chow, Ning-po and 
Shang-hai. 14 Nothing was mentioned in the Treaty of Nan- 
king about the opium trade! The opium traffic was not stopped 
until 1908. 15 It stands forever as one of the darkest stains on 
the history of Western relations with the Orient. It was the 
greatest single impediment to Christianity in China in the nine- 
teenth century, and a potent weapon in the hands of every 
anti-Christian agitator ever since. 

The cessation of the opium traffic left China with an appetite 
created for narcotics, which resulted in China's being soon 
flooded with quantities of morphia, cocaine, and heroin. Figures 
listed by the advisory Opium Commission of the League of Na- 
tions on the seizure of illicit shipments of these drugs during 1928 
reveal that two thirds of these seized shipments were bound 
for China. The cheapness of morphia as compared with opium, 
and the convenience it afforded for smuggling and consump- 
tion, suited both smugglers and addicts. Japan became the 
worst offender in this regard. According to the League of Na- 
tions statistics, the Japanese operated a narcotic factory in 

106 The Lost Churches of China 

Manchuria. But Japan was not alone in these illegal operations: 
"The French settlements in Chang-hai Han-kow and Tien- 
tsin, to mention just a few, were all great centers of the opiurr 
and morphine traffic." 16 This fact, combined with other reason; 
that were equally objectionable to the Chinese, was largely 
responsible for the student uprisings of 1927 against foreigi 
settlements in China where political refugees as well as smug 
glers found sanctuary. One of these students asked the author 
"Did not the missionary arrive in North America with hi 
Bible at the same time as the trader with his firewater? " Thei 
he pointed out that the Chinese knew that the white race 
from which the missionaries came, now occupied the Unitec 
States and Canada, which once were owned by the red men 
who now live on reservations. He added, "The Chinese an 
determined it shall not happen here." He referred to objection 
able signs, which had been for some years at the entrance t< 
the park in one of the foreign concessions in a port city: *' Dog; 
and Chinese not allowed." Such signs have long since beei 
removed, but their utterance of an intolerable racial supe 
riority has rankled in the minds of Chinese students and wai 
among the reasons cited in demands that the foreign conces 
sions in port cities be returned to Chinese sovereignty. " W< 
are determined," he said, " to bring to an end the attitude o 
superiority that prompts certain foreigners, on seeing a Chi 
nese whose help they wish, to call, "Boy, come here/" H< 
added, "To those who treat us as equals we will be loya 

Some years later, in the spring of 1950, at Tien-tsin, th< 
author in conversation with Communist officials noted re 
peatedly that they referred to the long struggle China wa 
forced to wage against foreign nations over the opium traffic 
That the antiforeign and anti-Christian sentiment existing ii 
China today is linked to the days of the opium traffic is du< 
to very adroit propaganda still being employed by those fo 
menting this sentiment. 

The Treaty of Nan-king, 1842, was soon followed by treatie 

The Clash of Civilizations 107 

between China and other European nations and the United 
States. All these subsequent treaties embodied the "most fa- 
vored nation " clause, whereby all other nations interested in 
the China trade were assured of enjoying all rights and privi- 
leges of trade given to the British in the Treaty of Nan-king. 
Thus this treaty became a keystone upon which all China's 
foreign relations were based for nearly a century. Under the 
security provided in the treaty, missionary societies began to 
reinforce their staffs, and several new missions, both Roman 
Catholic and Protestant, began to work under the privileges of 
the treaty ports. 17 

Although missionaries were opposed to the opium trade of 
their fellow nationals, tragedy arises from the fact that millions 
of unlettered Chinese, subject to mob psychology, were unable 
to make any distinction between the foreign missionary and 
the foreign trader. This was true in the first popular antiforeign 
uprising of 1850-1864, which is known as the Tai-p'ing (Great 
Peace) rebellion, led by Hung Hsiu-ch*uan. ls As a young 
student of twenty, Hung became interested in Christianity 
through the tracts of Protestant missionaries. With a meager 
knowledge of Christianity, his movement rapidly assumed 
political and military dimensions. The Tai-plngs sought to 
overthrow the Ming dynasty and make Hung emperor. Hostil- 
ities began in 1848; they articulated the growing indignation of 
China's millions against injustices. Although this fever was 
abated, it was destined to rise again and express itself in three 
major upheavals in the next hundred years. In 1852, the north- 
ward march of the rebels was a swelling horde, capturing city 
after city from Kuang-si to the Yang-tze. The situation was 
serious by 1853, when rebels captured the Yang-tze Valley 
and the southern capital of Nan-king. The unusual character of 
the Tai-plngs lay in the fact that they were a reform group 
moving from the bottom to the top without adequate leader- 
ship. Although they were unintelligent and unsuccessful, they 
were the first wave of a revolutionary century. Their devasta- 
tions turned the country against them. One of the greatest dis- 

108 The Lost Churches of China 

asters was the destruction of the best libraries, including three 
imperial academies, which were burned and never rebuilt. 

Faced with internal rebellion, the Ch'Ing court was amenable 
to further treaty negotiation with Western powers. As a re- 
sult the Government at Pe-Mng secured foreign assistance in 
suppressing the T'ai-p'ing rebellion. However, with foreign 
assistance came renewed pressure for additional privileges 
for foreigners. 

" In the two wars, 1839-1842 and 1856-1860, China was de- 
feated by Occidental powers and forced to permit the West- 
erner to reside in several important cities and to travel freely 
elsewhere, and to grant him certain degrees of exemption 
from the jurisdiction of Chinese laws and courts. The treaties 
then exacted from Pe-king were the main framework of the 
legal basis for the Western penetration of China." 19 

The Chinese Government sought to obtain new agreements 
that would limit the activity of missionaries and establish more 
effective control over Chinese Christians. To this the foreign 
powers, particularly France, would not agree, and the status 
of missionaries and Chinese Christians remained as it had been 
fixed by the treaties of Tien-tsin and the French Convention of 
Pe-king, I860, with some slight changes of the latter by a 
second convention, 1865. The treaties of Tien-tsin resulted 
in the opening of the interior of China to foreign travel and 
guaranteed protection to the foreigner and his converts. The 
years between 1860 and 1900 saw the penetration of every 
province of China by both Roman Catholic and Protestant mis- 

" By 1897 there were a little over half a million Roman Catholics 
in China, with more than 750 missionaries. Protestants who be- 
fore 1860 were confined almost entirely to the five ports and Hong- 
kong had an even more phenomenal growth. Many new societies 
began sending missionaries to China. The China Inland Mission had 
over 600 missionaries by 1895. In 1893 there were about 55,000 
Chinese communicants in Protestant Churches, most in coastal prov- 
inces, and about 1,300 missionaries, over one half women, from 41 
societies, These compared with 189 missionaries in 1864/* 20 

The Clash of Civilizations 109 

The Roman Catholics of the nineteenth century were mainly 
from France. Over all Roman Catholics France exercised a 
protectorate which was based on clauses in the French trea- 
ties. 21 This was used as a means of heightening French influ- 
ence, but it also became an increased source of irritation to the 
Chinese. The larger number of Eoman Catholics in China at 
the close of the nineteenth century as compared with Protes- 
tant communicants is due to two factors not present in Protes- 
tant experience. First, the Roman Catholic Church includes 
in its count all baptized infants and children, whereas the 
Protestants report only baptized and confirmed communicants. 
The second was the privileged position given to Roman Cath- 
olics in the treaty with France. This enabled the Catholic mis- 
sionaries to offer many inducements, including the protection 
of the Church, to converts. Indicative of the advantage gained 
by the Roman Catholics in the nineteenth century was the fact 
that upon their return to China after two hundred years they 
re-established themselves in those provinces and cities where 
Roman Catholics formerly had been located. With the guaran- 
teed protection for converts, which was assured in the French 
treaties, they made rapid progress in reviving their work. But 
the last half of the century was repeatedly marked by persecu- 
tions, riots, and disturbances which arose out of the activities 
of Catholic missionaries. This was the result of conflicts aris- 
ing when certain missionaries relied upon the force of their 
treaty rights more than upon the winning power of the mes- 
sage they had come to preach. The French Government had 
to take up the cause of its missionary proteges. There was a 
marked difference between the British and American treaties, 
on the one hand, regarding missionaries and their converts, 
and the French protectorate over Roman Catholics. The Amer- 
ican and British missionaries were mostly Protestants, and 
did not seek more than normal assurances of religious freedom, 
as incorporated in Article 29 of the American Treaty of 1858. 22 
Roman Catholic missionaries assumed rights that challenged 
the very sovereignty and integrity of China. In so doing, they 

110 The Lost Churches of China 

were supported by the French Government. One of the most 
revealing documents dealing with this vexatious problem is 
the memorandum of the Chinese Government through the 
Tsung Li Jamen, communicated to the French charge d'af- 
faires in the year 1871. 23 The memorandum is directed against 
Roman Catholic aggressions. The French minister, as well as 
other foreign ministers to whom copies of the memorandum 
were sent, delayed replying for such a length of time that there 
were, unfortunately, no practical results from this effort of the 
Chinese Government to gain certain modifications that would 
remove grievances. An American who spent many years in 
China writes: 

" There is no country where the line between the officials and 
the people is more sharply drawn than in China. The Roman Catho- 
lic Church is a mighty and an ancient hierarchy, and from the point 
of view of its representatives it is probably not only natural but in- 
evitable that those who wield powers so absolute should openly 
and universally assume them. Tfius the bishops, the spiritual rulers 
of the whole of a broad province, adopt the rank of a Chinese gover- 
nor and wear a button on their caps indicative of that fact, travel- 
ing in a chair with the number of bearers appropriate to that rank, 
with outriders and attendants on foot, an umbrella of honour borne 
in front, and a cannon discharged upon their arrival and departure. 
... All this, and much else, is a part of the settled policy of the 
Church, and not an accident of this place or that, and it is a policy 
which is in many ways repellent to Chinese pride and repugnant to 
their sense of propriety and fitness/* 24 

In an edict issued shortly after the treaties of 1858-1860 the 
Chinese submitted to the French charge d'affaires their con- 
cern over the unwarranted assumptions of the Roman Catholic 
missionaries and accused, to the French Government, the 
Roman Catholic missionaries for assirming civil direction over 
the acts of their converts, making the convert feel that his pri- 
mary allegiance was to the Church which saves his soul ? rather 
than to the State. The words of the edict speak for themselves: 

" T | ie * ore * n missionary is not an official, and cannot interfere 
in public affairs. . . . From the information which the prince and 
toe yamen have gathered (respecting the duties imposed upon them 
by their priesthood) these persons Found, as it were, among us an 
undetermined number of states within the State." 25 

The Clash of Civilizations 111 

This privileged position guaranteed the Roman Catholic 
Church by treaty was a contributing factor in the phenomenal 
accessions to the Roman Catholic faith in the last half of this 
century. From the special privileges accorded Roman Catho- 
lics under the French protectorate arose many abuses. 26 An- 
other serious source of Chinese animosity to the Roman Cath- 
olics were the terms of the French treaty of 1880 which 
provided that extensive properties that had belonged to the 
Church In the eighteenth century should be restored upon pres- 
entation of evidence of previous possession. The memorandum 
of 1871 of the Tsung Li 'Yamen to the French Government ad- 
mitted that there was in China a great deal of this property, 
mentioning that it had changed owners many times and had 
frequently been greatly improved or In some cases completely 
rebuilt during more than one hundred years while the Roman 
Catholics were banished. This memorandum, however, pro- 
tested: " The missionaries take no account of this; they exact 
a restitution, and do not even offer the least indemnity. Some- 
times they even ask for repairs to be made, or, if not, for a sum 
of money. Such conduct excites the indignation of the people, 
who look with no favourable eye upon the missionaries. Such 
being the case, no friendship can exist." 27 As illustration of 
how Chinese feelings were aroused, in Can-ton the Roman 
Catholic missionaries proceeded as though they would estab- 
lish adequate safeguards to insure that they would never be 
banished again. They created deep resentment by the erection 
of a f ortresslike cathedral The site they secured was the former 
yamen of the governor-general of the province. One of the 
senior missionaries in Can-ton in 1895 reported having heard a 
very intelligent Chinese say, while looking at the massive struc- 
ture: "We Chinese say that that cathedral must come down 
even if it need be one hundred years/* 28 

"The Roman Catholic Church is one of the largest property 
owners in some settlements of the open ports of China, as In the 
French concession of Tien-tsin, and in Chin-kiang, often being the 
principal landlord. The income from these enormous possessions is 

112 The Lost Churches of China 

used for the support of the Church, in default of those annual con- 
tributions upon which Protestants rely." 29 

This policy of acquiring vast landholdings by the Roman 
Church reached such grave dimensions by 1950 that it precipi- 
tated serious clashes with the Communist Government. At the 
end of the nineteenth century the French Government con- 
tinued to exert steady pressure for privileges for Catholic mis- 
sionaries through their legation at Pe-king. As a result, on the 
fifteenth of March, 1899, the Chinese Government issued an 
edict according political status to the ecclesiastics of the Roman 
Catholic Church. There was great consternation because of it 
in the ranks of Protestant missionaries. In retrospect, it would 
appear that this edict was part of a deliberate plot of the Chi- 
nese Government. Pushed by the French in an hour of Chi- 
nese weakness, it had no other course but to yield to the 
incredible demands and allow public indignation to express it- 
self with its own remedy. This soon occurred in the conflagra- 
tion of the Boxer uprising. 

The agreement with France in 1899 according political status 
to Roman Catholic bishops was simply beyond anything a self- 
respecting Government could grant. Its only purpose would 
seem to be a deliberate attempt to add " the last straw '* to the 
list of encroachments of foreign nations upon China. The 
intensity of China's determination to resist both the future and 
the foreigner reached white heat at the end of the nineteenth 
century. 30 

This action coincided with internal tensions in the Chinese 
Government arising over the reforms that had just been set in 
motion by the young emperor, which had virtually held China 
in excitement for a hundred days of that eventful summer. 
Universities were established by an edict issued on the tenth 
of July. On the sixteenth of August a further decree authorized 
the establishment at Shang-hai of a Reform Translating Bureau 
for " putting into Chinese, Western works on science, arts, and 
literature, and textbooks for schools and colleges." 31 The re- 
actionary group proceeded to plot with the empress dowager. 

The Clash of Civilizations 113 

If she had not succeeded in seizing the reins of power in over- 
throwing the young Emperor Kuang Hsu, the Boxer uprising 
might never have happened. "A vivid account of China's re- 
sistance to the future is recorded by many authors and reached 
its pinnacle in the fierce reaction led by the dowager empress 
Tz u Hsi." 32 

Throughout the country there was growing resentment to- 
ward the Ch'ing dynasty because of its failure to prevent in- 
creasing encroachments by foreign nations. Following the 
Sino-Japanese war of 1893, which placed China under heavy 
indebtedness to Russia and France for loans to pay the required 
indemnities to Japan, France had secured territorial gains in 
Annam in 1895, Russia had obtained great concessions in Man- 
churia in 1896, and Germany had seized the Kiao-chow pen- 
insula on the Shan-tung coast, with the port of Tsing-tau in 
1897. 33 To add insult to injury, in 1899, France had demanded 
and secured political status for Roman Catholic bishops. The 
country was in a ferment against the Manchu court for its 
capitulation in the face of these national indignities. The em- 
press dowager, in seizing the throne, defended her dynasty by 
transferring the accumulated hatred of the people against the 
court to all foreigners, who, she declared, had been guilty of 
attempting to subjoin her country. Since missionaries were the 
only foreigners permitted in the interior of China, they were 
accused of being spies for Western powers under the guise of 

Many colorful accounts have been published regarding the 
details of the Boxer uprising. 34 Our purpose will be served here 
by citing instances in the massacre of missionaries in the prov- 
ince of Shan-si. There are three reasons for the selection of 
Shan-si. First, there is the historic reason: Shan-si may be re- 
garded as the cradle of the Chinese nation. Secondly, this is 
the area of the earliest beginnings of Christianity in China, 
where the Nestorian Church was established and where many 
Nestorian relics have been discovered. Thirdly, the reaction 
set in motion and fanned into flame by the empress dowager 

114 The Lost Churches of China 

reached its pinnacle of white heat in Shan-si, where most of the 
missionaries in China who lost their lives in the Boxer uprising 
suffered martyrdom, surrounded by mountain ranges which 
prevented their escape as passes were guarded. Even now 
there are few who realize that in the one province of Shan-si 
alone 159 foreigners were massacred the majoritv of them 
at the time the Legations were besieged, but quite a number 
even after the Allies had taken possession of Pe-Mng. 35 
The memorial roll includes as martyrs (Protestant): 
11 American missionaries and 2 children at Shou-yang. 
10 American missionaries and 5 children at Tai-ku and Fen- 

13 English missionaries and 8 children at Tai-yuan-fu. 
1 secretary and wife and 3 children of British and Foreign 

Bible Society at Tai-yuan-fu. 

48 missionaries and 15 children of the China Inland Mission. 
3 missionaries and 1 child of Swedish Mongolian Mission. 
21 missionaries and 15 children of the Christian and Mission- 
ary Alliance. 
5 missionaries of the Scandinavian Alliance-Mongolian Mis- 


2 foreigners visiting in Shan-si at the time. 

In most cases faithful Chinese did what they could to pre- 
serve property and records of the Church. In almost every mis- 
sion some of these records are preserved. In -Fen-chow an 
account is told of the return of the first missionary, several 
years after the massacre. The Chinese banker called on the 
missionary. With Mm were two messengers carrying a chest. 
The banker presented the account book of the mission, show- 
ing the balance on deposit with him at the time of the massacre 
and how it had accumulated with compound interest. In the 
chest was the total amount in silver bullion. All missionaries 
there had been massacred, but no Chinese Christian was killed. 
In many places they too were massacred, and their martyrdom 
revealed beyond any doubt that the new experience of the 
Christian faith was more precious to them than life. Protes- 

The Clash of Civilizations 115 

tant missionaries unable to protect themselves were unable to 
protect their converts. The policy of the Roman Catholic 
Church of fortifying their missions and making cathedrals 
that could be used as fortresses in times of civil disorder had 
been one of the causes of public anger, but it proved the means 
by which hundreds of their missionaries and converts were 
saved from massacre. While every Protestant missionary in 
Shan-si was slain, the Roman Catholics suffered relatively 
small losses there. The total number of Roman Catholics listed 
as martyrs in the Boxer uprising reached only 44 in all China, 
of whom 12 were killed in Shan-si. In contrast a total of 188 
Protestant missionaries and children lost their lives, Shan-si 
missions contributing 159 of the martyrs. Missionaries in other 
provinces had, in most cases, been able to escape to the coast 
or to the Legations at Pe-king. 

In September, 1900, Pe-king was captured by the allied 
forces. The imperial court had fled in undignified haste. The 
foreign powers were determined that China should pay an 
indemnity for the loss of life and property of their nationals. 
The Protestant missionaries drew up a list of losses, with a 
scheme for settlement which won the respect of the Chinese 
for its fairness. 86 

These claims were most moderate. The cash indemnity 
sought was not for missionaries but to be used for educational 
purposes in Shan-si, The final demands made by the foreign 
powers on China were far more exacting, however, than any- 
thing suggested by Protestant missionaries: 

"The outHne of the terms of settlement with China involved a 
mission of apology to Germany for the murder of her minister; 
monuments in desecrated cemeteries; a prohibition of the importa- 
tion of arms and munitions of war; the destruction of the Taku and 
other forts; a Legation area in Peking, defended by foreign guards, 
with provision for other forces elsewhere; a financial indemnity of 
perhaps 450,000,000 taels of silver, the payment of which is to be 
distributed through the coming thirty or fifty years; the punishment 
of specified persons who were most guilty in the late uprising; the 
suspension for five years of examinations in cities where foreigners 
were murdered; the universal publication of the fact of these punish- 

116 The Lost Churches of China 

merits, a strict prohibition under penalty of death of all antiforeign 
societies, and an imperial edict distinctly recognizing the future re- 
sponsibility of officials for outrages occurring within their dis- 
tricts." 37 

The Boxer Protocol of 1901 provided the terms of China's 
indemnity to the foreign powers. The United States did not 
forget the recommendation of the Shan-si missionaries. It soon 
made provision for the use of the American part of the in- 
demnity for the education of Chinese students. Some years 
later the British Government remitted their share of the in- 
demnity, with the provision that it be used in railroad construc- 
tion in China. 

There has been considerable misunderstanding over the 
term "missionary rights" in China. Many modern mission- 
aries have been embarrassed by the special privileges accorded 
them by treaty. The bulwark of protection for missionary 
rights, as distinguished from the general rights of all foreigners 
in China, is Article 14 of the American Treaty of October 8 ? 
1903. 38 The treaty of 1908 provided that missionary societies 
could purchase and hold property for missionary work. This 
rightly avoided the danger of individuals' becoming involved 
in property questions, with attendant misunderstandings. It 
may be said in fairness that the American treaty negotiators 
codified the existing rights and privileges of foreigners in gen- 
eral. The document that they produced gathered together the 
practices, customs, and privileges exercised by Christian mis- 
sionaries since 1843 and incorporated them in one clear succinct 
article. This provided: 

"The right to carry on missionary activity, to convert the Chi- 
nese > the right to exempt Chinese converts from idol taxes, the right 
to acquire by rental and by lease in perpetuity which is techni- 
cally equal to purchase in fee simple land and buildings anywhere 
in China, together with the right to erect * suitable buildings * on ac- 
quired property. These are the acquisitions of the missionary 
societies as a result of this treaty. These are the rights which are 
quite independent of the rights of extraterritoriality. If extraterrito- 
riality is abolished de facto it does not necessarily mean that these 
various missionary rights are ipso facto abolished at the same 
time." S9 

The Clash of Civilizations 117 

The day was not far distant when missionaries were to real- 
ize that the control over mission property by " foreign " boards 
was a barrier to the development of a truly indigenous Church, 
and particularly as the holdings of certain missions became 
so extensive as to lay the Christian Church open to the ac- 
cusation of being foreign-controlled, with its security vested 
in treaties with foreign nations. By 1907 most of the mission- 
aries were back at their stations in the interior of China, with 
replacements more than offsetting the numbers killed in the 
Boxer massacre. The Ch'ing dynasty never recovered; all con- 
fidence in the Manchu court was gone. The seeds of revolution 
sprouted on all sides. 

At the Centenary Missionary Conference held in Shang-hai 
in 1907 a number of resolutions were adopted which were de- 
signed to set forth the wholly moral and spiritual aims of Prot- 
estant missionaries in China. One of these resolutions especially 
recommended that all missionaries "be vigilant, lest, in the 
present national awakening, the Christian Church should in any 
way be made use of for revolutionary ends, and lest Chinese 
Christians should, through ignorance, confusion of thought, 
or misdirected zeal, be led into acts of disobedience against 
the Government/ 7 Another section contained the declaration: 
" We teach and enjoin on all converts the duty of loyalty to 
the powers that be, and further staunchly affirm that in fact 
there are no more loyal subjects of the empire than the CM- 
nese Christians." 40 In 1910 the Edinburgh Conference enjoined 
all missionaries to * keep clear of all party and faction " and 
laid down the injunction that u missionaries should have noth- 
ing to do with political agitation. This is outside their sphere, 
and engaging in it can only harm their work. . . . The relation 
of the missionary as such to the convert is purely religious. 
He has to him no peculiar relation which in the least entitles 
him to interfere in the general administration of the country.*' 41 
That these two Protestant conferences felt it necessary to pass 
these resolutions is indicative of the fact that there were in- 
stances of involvement of missionaries in political schemes. 

118 The Lost Churches of China 

" The Manchu Government, in spite of all its faults and short- 
comings, knew a good deal more about the aims and aspirations of 
certain sections of its subjects than the missionary societies gave 
it credit for, and it certainly far excelled the missionaries in its 
knowledge of the Chinese character. ... It had strong reason to 
suspect that many of the Christian converts were by no means 
so well disposed towards the reigning dynasty or towards the ex- 
isting political constitution as the foreign missionary body professed 
to believe; and yet it knew only too \vell from bitter experience that 
if it made any serious attempt to bring them to punishment or to 
exercise supervision or control over the Christian societies to which 
they belonged, the missionary body would immediately accuse it of 
persecuting innocent Christians and of breaking its solemn treaties 
with the armed powers of the West." 42 

Here is discernible one of the most significant differences 
between the Roman Catholic and Protestant missions. We have 
noted the tendency of Roman Catholic missionaries to seek 
direct political action through their sponsoring "power," to 
bolster their cause. Many Protestants disavowed such pro- 
cedures; but, on the other hand, they brought to China the 
major contribution in higher education and these schools and 
colleges became the hotbed of new social and political ideas. 
Although this was not political action by missionaries, it was 
definitely political action by young Chinese intellectuals trained 
in mission schools, Protestants must recognize that mission- 
aries shared in planting this ferment. 

46 China's revolution really began, as a Chinese once remarked, 
with the arrival in Can-ton, in 1807, of Robert Morrison, the first 
Protestant missionary. . . . That these religious workers were, in 
the main, unconscious agents of political, and not merely religious 
and social, revolution rendered them none the less potent: new 
wine is innocent of ulterior motives as it enters old bottles." 4S 

Confronted with rising currents of unrest, the Manchu dy- 
nasty as one of its last acts elevated Confucius to the exalted 
status of the equal of Heaven. This occurred after the death 
of the empress dowager and the ascension of the young Hsuan 
Tung emperor. But it was too late to turn the hands of the 
clock back. The action did not meet with any public support. 
Discovering that public sentiment was against it the court 

The Clash of Civilizations 119 

revoked the decree in the hope of averting disaster, but with- 
out avail. The Manchu dynasty abdicated. Thus was broken a 
sacred link, which in the eyes of the people for thousands of 
years had bound together Heaven and earth. 

The Chinese Christians who sprang into political promi- 
nence at the outbreak of the revolution were nearly all con- 
nected with Protestant denominations. It was natural that, as 
a result of the formation of the Republic, missionary bodies 
in China should be quick to take advantage of their enhanced 
prestige. It was generally interpreted that the Manchus had 
forfeited the " divine decree " to rule, and Heaven was on the 
side of the new regime. In 1911, Christians were on the side of 
the revolutionists. Many Chinese interpreted the change to 
mean that the Christians had received the favor of Heaven. 
However, the blind spot of most foreigners in China in the last 
half of the nineteenth century, namely, the lack of cultural ap- 
preciation, persisted even now. 

" A great deal can be said for the missionary, but it must also 
be acknowledged that between 1860 and the close of the nineteenth 
century, he was often the source of great annoyance to the Chinese 
population and officialdom. His teaching, intolerant of the customary 
honors to ancestors, seemed to threaten the Chinese family. Reli- 
gious practices which formed an integral part of the guild, com- 
munity, and political life were anathema to him. Christians, there- 
fore, seemed to their neighbours recreant in moral, social, economic, 
and political obligations and to be attacking the foundations of 
society and civilization/' ** 

In all fairness, most of the pioneer missionaries were in ad- 
vance of their age, but the Western mind of the nineteenth 
century revealed a misapprehension of many values in Chinese 
culture. In the first issue of the Chinese Repository Morrison's 
own editorial shows that all China's religious observances 
were deemed idolatrous: 

** The conduct of the Emperor in praying, fasting and self-exam- 
ination ought to reprove the sluggish Christian. But we shall do ex- 
ceedingly wrong if we attempt to excuse such abominable idolatry, 
and to throw the mantle of charity over that which God abhors." 45 

120 The Lost Churches of China 

This criticism was written about the annual ceremonies at 
the Altar of Heaven when the emperor prayed on behalf of the 
people. Morrison did not dream that when the Protestant 
Churches should finally choose the most appropriate term for 
God, it would be the Confucian term used by the emperor on 
this occasion. Today it is well recognized that the Altar of 
Heaven conveyed a very high conception of deism. Ricci had 
been ready to accept this in the seventeenth century. But the 
outlook in the nineteenth century was much narrower. As it 
was shared by the commercial community of foreigners in the 
port cities, so it was reflected in the attitude of Western nations 
toward China. 

A century after Morrison, another great Protestant mission- 
ary, who spent fifty-six years in China, revealed that he was 
unprepared to admit that the hand of the Eternal had been 
operating in China before the missionaries entered that land. 
Arthur H. Smith wrote: " They have the loftiest moral code 
which the human mind unaided by divine revelation has ever 
produced, and its crystalline precepts have been the rich in- 
heritance of every successive present from every successive 
past" * 6 One wonders if this author realized that he paid the 
Chinese the compliment of saying that they had produced all 
this without the help of God. 

There existed a considerable weight of opinion that held 
that Christianity and Western culture were indissolubly united. 
One of the- most influential missionary writers in Europe of 
this period maintained that the strength of Christianity was 
due to its inner vitality and to the powers within Western cul- 
ture which gave dynamic to the Western world and its religion. 47 
Although individual thinkers in the West had protested West- 
em culture in many respects, yet in the mind of the average 
person in the Occident the supremacy of the white man over 
other peoples and cultures was due to an inherent superiority 
of Western culture and religion. Those without racial prejudice 
would be willing to agree that other races could become their 

The Clash of Civilizations 121 

equals, but only by adopting Western religion and culture. 
That this assumption was too prevalent is beyond question. 48 

" In the early days of the modern Christian movement in China 
there was a strong current of opinion which held that there was 
nothing in the religions of China but blind ignorance and super- 
stitious idolatry. Those holding such views were ready to declare 
the whole thing worthless and useless and were ready to knock it 
down with one general condemnation. . . . Christianity was out 
for conquest. It was a conquest of love, to be sure, but nevertheless 
it was a conquest" 49 

This was a very kind criticism written by a Chinese Chris- 
tian. How much greater were the criticisms from those Chinese 
who had no sympathy for the Christian religion! To the non- 
Christian Chinese in the nineteenth century it was inevitable 
that Christianity should be confused with Western culture. 50 
Because of the antiforeign sentiment stirred up as a result of 
the incredible encroachments on the sovereignty of China, and 
on the personal dignity of administrative officials, by the Ro- 
man Catholic demands through the French Government, the 
Protestants were destined to suffer in the subsequent uprising 
even more than the Roman Catholics, who had built for them- 
selves churches and monasteries that could easily be defended. 

It is important to note the fundamental differences which 
existed in these two simultaneous streams of Protestant and 
Roman Catholic missions in the nineteenth century and which 
continues to the present day. 

" Protestants believe that a man becomes a Christian not by par- 
taking of the miraculous power of the seven sacraments but by the 
confession that the New Testament message of the revelation of 
God in Jesus is true. The sacraments which the Protestants cele- 
brate add nothing to the " Word "; they merely bring it, as it were, 
directly and personally to the believer. . . . The Protestant is con- 
vinced that faith alone, i.e., an absolute reliance upon God and a 
complete trust in him as he has made himself known through 
Jesus, is the proper attitude of man toward God. He rejects the 
Roman Catholic teaching that man possesses power by which he 
can make himself acceptable to God. , . . la complete reliance 

122 The Lost Churches of China 

upon God and not upon himself, the Protestant proclaims the free- 
dom of the Christian man. Therefrom he derives the doctrine of 
the universal priesthood of believers; through faith in the gospel 
of Jesus Christ and thereby becomes a free man, subject to God 
alone, can be a priest who through his words and deeds brings the 
liberating gospel to his fellow men. Thus the Roman Catholic dis- 
tinction between priests and laymen is destroyed." 51 

Because of these opposing views there has been no basis 
whatever for co-operation. From the beginning the two simul- 
taneous missionary streams in China have been distinctly sepa- 
rate movements. But the problem of the Christian Churches 
in China at this time is by no means a simple division between 
Roman Catholics and Protestants. 

The Protestant missionary movement from the outset has 
suffered from the multiplicity of its missionary societies and 
sustaining boards. Latourette mentions that no less than 41 dif- 
ferent missions were operating in China in 1893 under the 
Protestant banner. Following the Boxer massacre, attempts 
were made early in the twentieth century to remedy this situa- 
tion, but in the zenith of the Protestant movement, forty years 
later, when the Laymen's Foreign Missions Inquiry was made, 
there were 84 societies having membership in the Foreign Mis- 
sions Conference of North America, and most of these operated 
missions in China. This figure did not include many faith mis- 
sions, such as the China Inland Mission, which is the largest 
Protestant mission in China; nor did it include the Societies of 
Britain and Europe. To say the least, the total effect of this was 
tragically confusing to the Chinese, and vitiated the witness of 
the Christian message. 

The river of history sometimes meanders through a plain as 
the Yellow River wends its way across the wide expanse of 
Ho-nan and Shan-tung to the sea. At other times history foams 
and plunges in rapids as the Yang-tze races through its gorges. 
Thus certain periods are anabolic, when energy is derived from 
the past or an unconscious momentum is conserved and stored 
In sufficient reserve to insure a peaceful flow. Other periods are 
catabolic, when energy is discharged with the expulsive power 

The Clash of Civilizations 123 

of revolutionary force. The nineteenth century may be de- 
scribed as an anabolic one for China in contrast to the twentieth 
century, as shown in the next chapter the most catabolic 
in all of its long history. That the impact of the Occidental 
world upon China has played a large part in this upheaval 
is widely recognized. That Christianity has had a very signif- 
icant and revolutionary role in this period of China's his- 
tory is not so well known. The indignities connected with the 
infringement of sovereignty resulting from the impact of the 
West have been a continually bitter experience for the Chinese. 
Missionaries are incorrigible optimists. Perhaps uncon- 
sciously and not intentionally they have often portrayed only 
that which was favorable to their cause. A fair understanding 
of the Boxer uprising demands that consideration be given to 
the Chinese point of view, and that the Westerner make a dili- 
gent effort to sit where they sat (cf. Ezek. 3:15) and try to 
understand why the Chinese feels and acts as he does in given 
situations. One of the most persistent sources of irritation 
between China and the Western powers in the nineteenth 
century was the Christian missionary, who was often the in- 
nocent victim in a clash that stemmed from the foreigner's re- 
peated failure to understand the Chinese. 



FOR forty years CMna has 
been experiencing a revolu- 
tion that is unparalleled in the history of the world. Though it 
began slowly, the nation soon found itself in the throes of vio- 
lent upheavals. What has been taking place in the political and 
military arena has caught the headlines, but far more signifi- 
cant in its effect upon the future is the deep underlying change 
in Chinese thought. 

The political revolution that swept the Manchus from power 
in 1911 and inaugurated the Republic was borne on the wave 
of an ascending nationalism. The Republic was forced to com- 
bat the regionalism and provincialism that still held large sec- 
tions of the country in their grasp. For fifteen years civil war 
raged in the struggle to weld the vast area of China into a polit- 
ical unity. This was accomplished in the formation of the Nation- 
alist Government in 1926. The enormity of the task embraced 
a land mass of nearly four million square miles, vaster than 
Europe. China attempted to crowd what Europe accomplished 
in seven centuries into the first fifty years of the twentieth cen- 
tury. Europe spent all of the eighteenth century in its in- 
dustrial revolution. China, on the other hand, has had five 
simultaneous revolutions raging during the first half of the 
twentieth century. 

The founders of the Republic soon discovered that they had 
more than a political revolution on their hands. Unlike the 
small area of the Thirteen Colonies on the Eastern seaboard of 

Christianity's Contribution 125 

America, when they declared their independence and estab- 
lished the United States of America, or unlike a small island, 
such as Britain, which had earlier developed its forms of re- 
sponsible and democratic government, China presented huge 
difficulties of land mass without modern means of communica- 
tions. In 1911, the Northeast was removed from the Northwest 
by over forty days* trail journey by pack animal. The author 
has covered much of this territory, traveling on one occasion 
forty-two days by pack saddle in the Ordos area. At close range 
one obtains a lasting impression of the panorama of arid moun- 
tains of loess, gorges, valleys, streams, and the unending but 
changing scenes of village lie. 

It was relatively easy to overthrow the Mancfau dynasty, 
which was so corrupt that it crumbled, but the establishment 
of the Republic was immediately challenged, if not in name 
certainly in authority, by whoever could seize control in re- 
mote areas of the country. In many instances bands of outlaws, 
who had lived beyond the pale of the Manchu administration, 
promptly set themselves up as local governments with their 
leaders as war lords. Thus for fifteen years the Republic strug- 
gled to bring the period of the war lords to an end, either by 
military decision or by negotiation. In spite of these handicaps, 
the concept of a national government was constantly gaining 
strength. A sense of nationalism and loyalty for the ideal of 
the Republic was a burning flame held aloft by students. Thus 
from the outset of the Republic the contribution of the Chris- 
tian schools and colleges became an invaluable asset The good 
will of the Government toward these institutions was due in 
large part to the realization that they were rendering an im- 
portant contribution to the training of leadership which the 
young Republic so urgently needed. Confronted with over- 
whelming illiteracy, the difficulties of the new Government 
were enormous. It was soon apparent that the success of the 
political revolution rested upon the success of the intellectual 
revolution. The Protestant translation of the Bible into Chi- 
nese was published early in the vernacular, at a time when it 

128 The Lost Churches of China 

was considered a disgrace for any scholar to allow his work to 
be published in any but the classical style. Thus the dead hand 
of the past was wrested from the printed page. In 1922 the 
National Mass Education Movement for adults was launched. 
The intellectual revolution was in full swing. China was soon 
experiencing a literary renaissance which in its magnitude ex- 
ceeded any other in the world's history. Its own ancient classics 
were translated into the vernacular. Foreign scientific texts 
were translated into Chinese. Newspapers, magazines, periodi- 
cals blossomed. The nation was conscious of being borne on 
the flood tide of a new day. 

Far exceeding the intellectual revolution in its demand for 
swift change was the social upheaval. The seeds were planted 
at the beginning of the twentieth century when Protestant mis- 
sionaries persuaded Christian parents not to bind the feet of 
their infant daughters and to permit them to attend schools. 
The impact of young educated women upon the thought of the 
country has been so tremendous that one of the first acts of the 
Republic was to enact legislation making foot-binding illegal. 
Today the girls ran, dance, and play on normal and natural 
feet. Young women have been enrolled in the educational in- 
stitutions on a par with men. This has happened in the land 
where forty years ago it was not considered quite proper for 
a man to look at a woman longer than was necessary to dis- 
cover that she was not a man. For forty centuries woman had 
been in bondage. She was owned by her father, sold to her 
husband, and in her later years, if widowed, subservient to her 
son. She had no civic status; she could not inherit property, nor 
was she permitted to be educated. * To amuse men, to bear 
their children, to bear their burdens ** were the functions of 
women in China for four thousand years. The outstand- 
ing contribution of the Christian movement has been the social, 
intellectual, and civic emancipation of womanhood. In 1931, 
the new civil code promulgated by the Nationalist Government 
provided that women should possess equal civic rights with 
men, and should henceforth be entitled to inherit property 

Christianity's Contribution 127 

from their fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons. They could 
buy and sell, but no longer could they be bought or sold. For 
twenty years China has enjoyed the freedom of coeducation. 
For the first time in four thousand years, young men and women 
have looked into each others' faces and shared together in dis- 
cussions regarding the welfare of their country. They have 
mixed in friendships, athletics, and group discussions as well 
as in the classroom. This change has not come to pass with- 
out sad difficulties, heartaches, and suffering. Parents have 
stretched their hands toward the past in the effort to restrain 
their youth. Young China, in revolt, has demanded that it 
should have the right to make for itself the great decisions 
affecting its future. Thus, within one generation, China passed 
through a social revolution that has rocked the foundations of 
its family system and political structure. The greatest sin- 
gle factor in this social regeneration has been the Christian 
Church, which gave China a social goal. It presented religion 
as a creative process tending toward new persons and a new 
humanity. The new individual was pledged to a new society 
in which the law of his personal Me found expression and em- 
bodiment. As self-preservation is the law of nature, self- 
transcendence became the law of this new society. But the 
primary emphasis of this social gospel looked for a Kingdom 
of God which would be expressed in a new social order. In 
this generation few could be found in China, even among 
Christians, who would accept Dante's tribute to the Abbot 
Joachim * who f ound in the Scriptures that which he longed 
to find there the promise of a spiritual renovation, the com- 
ing of the Kingdom of God/' 1 

Simultaneous with the political, intellectual, and social up- 
heavals, and moving forward relentlessly, has been the indus- 
trial or economic revolution. When the construction of the first 
railroad was started, opposition was so great that the Govern- 
ment ordered the tracks removed. Within a few years the Chi- 
nese appreciated the values of more rapid transportation, and 
railroads began to penetrate in many directions. Yet China has 

128 The Lost Churches of China 

less than ten thousand miles of railroads, or about one mile of 
track for every fifty thousand inhabitants, compared with one 
mile of railroad for every five hundred persons in the United 
States or for every two hundred and fifty persons in Canada. 
For a long time the wheelbarrow continued to be cheaper than 
gasoline as a means of transport, but today both the wheel- 
barrow and the pack animal are giving way to more efficient 
means of transportation. The old stone gristmill, beside which 
two women with bound feet labored to crush the grain, pro- 
viding flour for daily noodles, has given place to steel rolling 
mills. The home loom finds severe competition in the steam- 
driven factories. The castor oil lamp, with its dim flicker, has 
given way to paraffin candle and petroleum lamp. The major 
cities are now equipped with electricity. 

In each of these four revolutions, political, intellectual, so- 
cial, and industrial, growth can be traced to new concepts from 
the West. The discovery in the industrial revolution that the 
use of scientific methods of agriculture, engineering, road con- 
struction, river conservation, reclamation dikes, irrigation proj- 
ects could all contribute to man's control over his environment, 
have caused radical changes in the religious concepts of the 
masses. On every hand youth surged forward to conquer the 
problems of the new age. All four of these revolutions made 
their direct contribution to the religious crisis, which at the 
same time was the concomitant and the resultant of them. 
There has been a tendency in recent years for Chinese to treat 
the old religions as belonging to the classical past, no longer 
holding relevance for the new age. The incompatibility of 
superstition and science led many to renounce all religious 
beliefs in a sweeping campaign among students. One of the 
greatest factors in the changing religious concepts has been the 
work of medical missionaries. Superstitions ran riot around 
the mystery of life and death. As mission hospitals with Chris- 
tian physicians and nurses ministered in the name of the Great 
Physician, doubts were dispersed, fears subsided, and preju- 
dices were cast aside. Mothers who once believed that evil 

Christianity's Contribution 129 

spirits snatched their children from their breasts during the 
scourge of epidemic diseases learned with relief that vaccina- 
tion could prevent smallpox, inoculations could prevent diph- 
theria and typhoid. Preventive medicine shattered prevailing 
beliefs that a galaxy of evil spirits caused these maladies. The 
outstanding work of missionary physicians established stand- 
ards of medicine in China that gave renown to the Christian 
Church, and often was responsible for the pronounced favor it 
enjoyed from the authorities. Medical missions in China wrote 
a saga of heroism, illumined with most loving and sacrificial 
devotion. Today all Christian hospitals have been taken over 
by Communists. 

To dismiss this loss as a defeat resulting from Russian in- 
trigue, or from the Communist victory alone, is an oversimpli- 
fication. The Christian Church must recognize that the Church, 
not Russia, developed the soil in which Communism was 
planted in China. True, an enemy has sown tares in the field, 
but the enemy did not plant the tares until the field was well 
plowed and harrowed by a hundred years of missionary work. 
Communism simply could not have taken root in China a hun- 
dred years ago, because then there was no adequate idea of 
universal brotherhood. This idea is well stated by George 
Sokolsky, who spent eighteen years in China: 

* Christianity as a religion or a practice of life can only interest 
me academically I am a Jew and should, therefore, abhor missions, 
but I have lived in China during most of my adult life. To the 
foreigner in China, the Christian mission cannot be a mere question 
of religious affiliation, for the Christian mission is one of me most 
vital revolutionary forces in that country. ... It is the role that 
Christianity has played in the creating of a distinctive personality 
that has made missions so attractive to me. What does it matter 
what the number of converts is? What matters whether there is a 
large or small number of churches? China will not be saved as a 
nation by multitudes or by buildings. She requires leadership, 
and the Christian mission has done more than its share in the re- 
orientation of the Chinese mind from Confucian selfishness, as 
evidenced by the family system, to the social consciousness as evi- 
denced by the effort of an increasingly large number of Chinese 
men and women to serve China in a modern manner." 2 

130 The Lost Churches of China 

Anyone who would understand the change that has come 
over China between 1912 and 1952 must trace the full impact 
of Christian missions which contributed the revolutionary and 
psychological factors without which there could not have been 
any Idea of a Republic. The religious crisis is one in which 
older religious beliefs have been discredited faster than new 
and abiding values were adopted. The critical attitude of 
many missionaries toward Confucius, and more particularly 
toward Confucianism, stems from misunderstandings sur- 
rounding the efforts of the Confucian scholars to make Con- 
fucianism a State cult. The underlying motive that sought to 
make Confucius the center of a State religion was not due to 
any belief or desire to elevate him to the status of a god, but 
was rather due to a fear that unless Confucianism were given 
the official status of a religion, and placed first among the re- 
ligions of the Chinese people, it would be handicapped in the 
struggle against rival forces. The efforts to make Confucianism 
the State religion of China were revived under the Republic, 
but failed in 1924, and subsided under the wave of popularity 
given the teachings of Sun Yat-sen's San Min Chu I, "The 
Three Principles of the People's Livelihood.** 3 To a large de- 
gree the compulsory use of this text in all schools under the 
Republic resulted in a marked loss to the prestige of Confu- 
cian ethics. The memory and purpose of Sun Yat-sen were pre- 
served in all Chinese schools. Before the Communists gained 
ascendancy it was required of all students to repeat his " Last 
Will and Testament ** and bow three times before his portrait 
in a ceremony held on Monday of each week. The first sen- 
tences of this * Last Will and Testament " are indicative of the 
dominant mood of young China which has existed for the past 
twenty years: 

"I have served the cause of the People's Revolution for forty 
years, during which time my object has consistently been to secure 
liberty and equality for my country. From the experience of these 
forty years, I nave come to realize that, in order to reach this ob- 
ject, it is necessary to awaken the masses of our people and to join 

Christianity's Contribution 131 

hands with those countries which are prepared to treat us as equals 
in our fight for the common cause of humanity. At present we have 
not yet completed the work of the Revolution." 4 

What was expected to happen from the constant repetition 
of these words by the students of China: " At present we have 
not yet completed the work of the Revolution " ? It was the 
Communists who translated this into action. 

In the Christian schools missionaries had achieved "suc- 
cess " in supplanting Confucius. The task was made easier as 
graduates of Christian schools gained ascendancy in the Na- 
tionalist Government. It was not unnatural that there were 
some who hoped that the ground lost by Confucius would be 
won and occupied by Christianity. Little did they realize that 
the ground lost by Confucius would be occupied in large meas- 
ure by the forces of atheism, materialism, and Communism. 
The Communist regime of the Central People's Republic of 
China is fully aware of the incompatibility that exists between 
the totalitarian position of Communism and the respect for 
personality and individual freedom in the teachings of Con- 
fucius. The Communist Government fears that it cannot sur- 
vive in China without the complete suppression of the teach- 
ings of Confucius. This is the reason for the order issued at 
Pe-king in June, 1949, requiring the collection and burning of 
all Confucian texts from all libraries and schools, and forbid- 
ding teaching of Confucian ethics. 5 This modern attempt to 
eradicate the ethics of Confucius from China has its counter- 
part in history. In the third century before Christ, after the 
Confucian teachings had been lifted into prominence by the 
devotion and faithful work of Mencius, Chin Shih-hwang or- 
dered the collection and burning of all Confucian manu- 
scripts. 6 If one would understand the cause of fear and con- 
sequent destruction of the classics by Chin Shih-hwang, and 
now by the Communists at Pe-king twenty-two hundred years 
later, the answer is discernible in the "Doctrine of the 
Mean * and in the " Analects ": 

132 The Lost Churches of China 

" Hence the sovereign may not neglect the cultivation of his own 
character. Wishing to cultivate his character, he may not neglect 
to serve his parents. In order to serve his parents, he may not 
neglect to acquire a knowledge of men. In order to know men, he 
may not dispense with a knowledge of Heaven." T 

There are those who have taken false comfort at the collapse 
of Confucian teachings in modern times. Today the whole 
elaborate system of Confucian ethics is disrupted and the 
teachings of the sage are discredited. It calls to mind the 
warning given in the early years of the Republic by two 
eminent missionaries. Rev. John Ross, of the Church of 
Scotland Mission, declared: ** Those who slight Confucianism 
appear to have neglected to weigh its influence on the past of 
China, or its possible place in the future." 8 He was supported 
by Archdeacon A. C. Moule: 

** It is difficult to believe that the attempt recently made by some 
ardent spirits of Young China to discredit and banish from their 
curriculum of education the writings of Confucius and Mencius, as 

out of accord with republican principles, can succeed, save with 
grave discredit cast upon Chinese intelligence and most justifiable 
amour-propre" 9 

Sir Reginald Johnston counseled that the missionary should 
claim Confucius as an ally and not oppose him as a foe. He 
was convinced that there was nothing in the teachings of Con- 
fucius that was incompatible with the progress, social, political, 
or spiritual, of the Chinese people. 10 The Republic dealt Con- 
fucianism a heavy blow when it was discovered that Yuan 
Shih-k'ai was using the Confucian tradition as a ladder by 
which he would personally ascend the throne. The result was 
reaction against him and the Confucian scholars. Because of 
the long history in which Confucianism and the monarchy were 
so often involved in intrigue, in the public mind these rose and 
fell together. The eclipse of Confucius in the educational 
system was so complete that there were those who felt that 
**Iess respect was given to Confucius than in any period of 
China's history since the Chin dynasty." 11 

Christianity's Contribution l&S 

The official favors which the Republic bestowed on Chris- 
tianity after the overthrow of the Manchu dynasty were largely 
the result of political expediency. At the moment of coming 
to power, the cabinet of the Republic was anxious to gain the 
good will and support of Western powers. With this in view 
they adroitly employed the idea of paying respect to the Chris- 
tian religion, as it was considered the greatest lever in winning 
support of Western nations. It was not long in making this 
decision. One of the first actions of the cabinet was to call 
upon all Christian nations to offer prayer for the new govern- 
ment. This received great attention throughout the world. In 
China there was exultation in Christian circles over the ** Prayer 
Sunday/' One group of Protestants in Pe-krag took advantage 
of the occasion to take temporary possession of the Altar of 
Heaven, where for centuries the emperor had made his annual 
prayer to Heaven on behalf of his people. This action of 
Christians in holding a service on the Altar of Heaven shocked 
the national and religious sentiment of many non-Christian 
Chinese. Christians further rejoiced when the Government put 
in office a Christian as director of education. 12 What was not 
generally known is that the unexpected action taken by the 
cabinet in calling upon Christians throughout the world to 
offer prayer for the new Government synchronized with a 
serious financial crisis in the political affairs of the nation. " It 
may be suggested without cynicism that some, at least, of the 
members of the cabinet who assented to the suggestion of an 
appeal for a Day of Prayer were actuated by a variety of 
reasons, among which the spiritual motive was not supreme." 1S 
The Government issued decrees through the Ministry of Ed- 
ucation banishing the Confucian cult. But the tide of reaction 
soon set in, and within two years the Christian Director of Ed- 
ucation was *" ordered to vacate his post." 

The fact that Sun Yat-sen was a baptized Christian was a 
source of pride to many Protestant missionaries at the time of 
the revolution of 1911. He was not in China when the Manchu 
dynasty was swept from the throne, but Sun Yat-sen was 

134 The Lost Churches of China 

acclaimed by the Chinese as the father of the revolution. He 
returned at the end of 1911 to accept the position of pres- 
ident of the provisional government, which post he held for 
only a few weeks until the election of the constituted govern- 
ment. Nothing in the life of Sun Yat-sen revealed his Chris- 
tian spirit so much as his action in giving up the presidency to 
Yuan Shih-Fai in order to save the Republic. Sun spent his 
life for a " cause " which he would not sacrifice for personal 
gain. Yuan espoused the te cause " to raise himself. Had it not 
been for Sun Yat-sen's influence in holding the Republic to- 
gether, Yuan Shih-k'ai would probably have founded a new 

When in 1923 the Kuomintang threatened to seize the cus- 
toms at Can-ton because the revenues were being sent ? accord- 
ing to international agreement, to Pe-king, the Western powers 
sent gunboats to Can-ton. Until the Nationalists could control 
the customs, they were deprived of revenues. The Western 
powers gave no support to Sun Yat-sen. For this reason Sun 
counseled the Kuomintang: ** We no longer look to the Western 
powers. Our faces are turned toward Russia.*' 14 When the Na- 
tionalist forces reached the Yang-tze Valley under the leader- 
ship of Chiang Kai-shek in 1926-1927, his Russian advisers in- 
cluded the military genius General Gallen and the political 
strategist Michael Borodin, When the Communists attempted 
to seize control over the Nationalist Government, Chiang Kai- 
shek broke with Soviet Russia. 

Because the twentieth century has witnessed the most tragic 
tensions between China and those Western nations from which 
most of the missionaries originated, it is of great importance 
to review here the history of this period. The non-Christian in 
China naturally expected the Christian missionary to have a 
connection with the country of his origin. The actions of West- 
em nations toward China caused the greatest embarrassments 
to missionaries, with complicating losses. 

In the first quarter century of the Republic, China was torn 
by the civil wars among rival war lords who challenged the 

Christianity's Contribution 135 

authority of the central Government. During these years 
the cultural and political struggle between North and South 
never ended. The South continually proposed while the North 
disposed, but by 1928 the South had disposed of the North 
by coalition, and the Nationalist Government under the leader- 
ship of Chiang Kai-shek moved the capital of China to Nan- 
king, changing the name of Pe-king, ** Northern capital," to Pei- 
p'ing, " Northern Peace." It was during this period of internal 
strife that Japan began its expansion in the mainland of China. 
During World War I, Japan seized the area of Shan-timg, 
which had been occupied by Germany since 1898, and on May 
30, 1915, Japan served China with the ** infamous twenty-one 
demands," It was largely through the moral influence of Amer- 
ica and Britain that the Government of the Republic was able 
to resist these demands, which if granted would have given 
Japan virtual control over China's ports, customs, and coastal 
provinces. 15 

In 1919 the Chinese delegates to the Peace Conference 
walked out of the Versailles Assembly when they discovered 
that Britain and America had capitulated to the Japanese de- 
mand that the former German territory in Shan-tung should 
be awarded to Japan as a prize of war. To the Chinese, who 
had also been allies in the war against Germany, this was an 
unbelievable betrayal. Prior to the outbreak of World War I, 
Germany had agreed with China to return the Sian-tung ter- 
ritory by 1921. Therefore, China refused to sign the Versailles 
Treaty. In July, 1919, following Versailles, Soviet Russia 
received the good will of the Chinese in the hour of their in- 
dignation against Western powers. Karakhan, Vice-Com- 
missar of Foreign Affairs, proclaimed the readiness of Russia 
to renounce all her former special rights and privileges in 
Manchuria and to enter into a treaty of equality with China. 
This manifesto declared: "All people, no matter whether 
their nations are great or small, no matter where they live, no 
matter at what time they may have lost their independence, 
should have their independence and self-government and not 

138 The Lost Churches of China 

submit to being bound by other nations." 18 The Soviet Treaty 
of Friendship (1924) gave China all the civil rights and 
sovereignty that were denied at Versailles. Chinese opposition 
to the Versailles Treaty was intensified at the Washington Dis- 
armament Conference in 1922. There the Chinese delegation 
successfully caused enough disturbance, by refusing to discuss 
disarmament while Japan occupied Shan-tun^, to make it nec- 
essary that the Shan-tung question receive priority before any 
disarmament agreement could be reached. As a result of pres- 
sure exerted by America and Britain upon Japan, it was an- 
nounced by the Japanese Government that the Shan-tung 
territory would be returned to China. But within six years 
after returning it the Japanese invaded Shan-tung, to take it 
back in 1928. 

Japan had become alarmed at the victorious march of the 
Nationalist forces in the Yang-tze Valley in 1927; the coalition 
of Yen Hsi-shan and Feng Yu-hsiang in North China which 
drove Chang Tso-lin out of Pe-king and back into Manchuria 
in 1928-1929; and the possibility of a strong central Govern- 
ment in China. Before this could take place Japan moved into 
Shan-tung and occupied Tsi-nan in April, 1928. This precip- 
itated matters in China's internal straggle. The Northern lead- 
ers quickly made overtures to Chiang Kai-shek, resulting in the 
acceptance of Chiang's national leadership. Thus from the 
outset of Chiang Kai-shek's rise to national leadership, he was 
confronted with Japanese aggression. In 1931 the Japanese 
had created the " Moukden Incident." By 1933, Japan con- 
trolled all of Manchuria under a puppet state. In 1935, Japa- 
nese intrigues honeycombed North China. They employed 
every imaginable device to disrupt the loyalties of the Chinese 
to Chiang Kai-shek. There were always Chinese who hoped 
that a change in the Government would bring a revival of Con- 
fucianism. The Japanese were quick to play up this divisive 
element. In 1933, in Moukden, a very significant news item 
appeared in the Chinese press of September 3: " In view of 
the fact that the new state of Manchukuo has made the doc- 

Christianity s Contribution 137 

trine of Confucianism the standard of national morality, Con- 
fucius Day, which fell today, was celebrated with grand fete 
throughout the country," The Japanese were already planning 
the invasion of North China and cleverly used this psycholog- 
ical technique in the attempt to upset the Chinese Govern- 
ment by appealing to the Confucian loyalties of the Chinese. 
That this was realized by the Nationalist Government is evi- 
denced by the publication in the Shang-hai newspapers on 
June 4, 1934, that " the Nationalist Government had included 
the birthday of Confucius in the list of national holidays of 
China." 17 There is no evidence here to indicate that the na- 
tionalist Government had any thought of reviving Confucian- 
ism, but by appropriately recognizing the birthday of Confucius 
they effectively offset Japan's strategy in this regard. 

On July 7, 1937, Japan created the "China Incident" near 
Pe-ldng, demanding more Chinese " Co-operation in Japan's 
New Asia Coprosperity Sphere/ 7 On August 13, 1937, Japan 
opened attacks at Shang-hai, using the Japanese defense sec- 
tor of the International Settlement as a base for landing sup- 
plies to attack China. The rape of Nan-king followed the fall 
of Shang-hai. The capital of China fell in December, 1937. 
Not a single one of the nations that signed the Nine Power 
Treaty of the Pacific raised an arm to stop Japan. The signa- 
tories of fiat treaty included those nations from which most 
of the missionaries had been coming to China during the pre- 
vious century. The treaty pledged the signatories not to take 
any part of Chinese territory or to allow any other nation to do 
so, thereby assuring China the freedom to apply all her re- 
sources to problems of internal reconstruction without fear 
of external aggression. By 1938 the Japanese invasion was in 
full blast. To the consternation of the Chinese, Japanese troops 
were rolling beyond Nan-king toward Han-kow and other 
cities of the interior on mechanized military equipment manu- 
factured in the nations which had proposed and signed the 
Nine Power Treaty of the Pacific and which had sent most of 
the missionaries to China. Australia was the only signatory 

138 The Lost Churches of China 

nation that placed an arms embargo on shipments of military 
supplies to Japan. 

It was during this crisis that the Christians revealed their 
kinship with all who suffered. Missionaries elected to remain 
in China under the perils of the Japanese invasion and shared 
the privations and sufferings of some forty millions who were 
uprooted in the ensuing conflict. In this period many misunder- 
standings existed in the minds of the Chinese because the 
Christian nations of the West furnished Japan with the mil- 
itary supplies that enabled Japan to wage unprovoked war on 
China. Missionaries, by staying in China, behind the lines of 
conflict, in the battle zones, taken prisoners by the Japanese, 
risking their lives caring for the wounded, did more to dis- 
sociate Christianity from the political actions of Western 
powers than anything they had ever done before. The confi- 
dence of the Chinese in the integrity and neutrality of the mis- 
sionaries who elected to remain with them and share their 
peril enhanced the prestige of the Church. 

Chiang Kai-shek recognized the moral void into which 
China was settling at this time because of national despair. He 
sought to establish the New Life Movement to rally the 
people. In 1934 he declared that the New Life Movement 
called for a revival of the " cardinal virtues of propriety, loy- 
alty, honesty, and honor, which have constituted the bulwark 
of our national existence." 1S The history of these eventful 
years reveals Chiang Kai-shek leading his people to resist the 
enemy with stubborn, indomitable courage, against insur- 
mountable odds. For ten long years before American and Brit- 
ish forces entered the war, China battled alone against Jap- 
anese aggression. It was during the height of the struggle that 
the Nationalist Government issued the proclamation from 
Chung-king, removing all restrictions that had been placed on 
the teaching of religion in Government-registered schools. In 
1929 the ministry of education had decreed that mission 
schools, in order to qualify their graduates for entrance to 
Government universities, must abandon the compulsory teach- 

Christianity's Contribution 189 

ing in religion. Now the Nationalist Government officially de- 
clared that the Christians in the war had demonstrated that 
the Christian religion had a constructive contribution to make 
to the future of China. Out of disaster the Church had moved to 
signal triumph. Never in their history had the Christian 
Churches found so large a place as in this hour of China's or- 

In December, 1943, public recognition was given to China 
by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill when 
they invited Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek to meet with them 
at Cairo. 19 At th^ Cairo Conference, Chiang Kai-shek rep- 
resented the nation that had suffered the most, and which at 
that time had inflicted the heaviest military losses upon the 
Japanese. Chiang is accused by those who dislike him of being 
a stubborn man. Only a stubborn man of indomitable will 
could have led a nation so utterly unprepared for war to re- 
sist the armed might of Japan with such heroism for fourteen 
years. At Cairo a solemn pledge was given to the Christian 
generalissimo of the Republic of China by the Christian pres- 
ident of the United States and the Christian prime minister of 
Great Britain. The pledge was publicly proclaimed to the 
world that all the territories seized from China by any other 
nation during the previous fifty years would be returned to 
the full sovereignty of China. This included all the areas oc- 
cupied by Japan, particularly Formosa and Manchuria, which 
had been uppermost in the Chinese mind for many years. The 
Cairo declaration was the occasion of great rejoicing in China. 
This was a major factor in the ability of the Chinese to con- 
tinue their resistance to Japan throughout the remaining years 
of the war. Chiang emerged from World War II as the hero of 
China and was acclaimed one of the leaders of the free world. 

American foreign policy in China during the period 1944r- 
1950 stands in marked contrast to the previous century of 
American policy in China from 1844 to 1943. Any study of the 
loss to the Churches of China, must include some understanding 
of the factors that contributed to the failure of American for- 

140 The Lost Churches of China 

eign policy in China, because most of the foreign missionaries 
in China during this period were from the United States. The 
severance of diplomatic relations between China and the 
United States, apart from the Nationalist Government at For- 
mosa, and the withdrawal of all United States consuls from 
the mainland of China, naturally heightened the tension against 
America. It became inescapable that these circumstances should 
involve American missionaries in China in increasing dif- 

The Chinese possess an intense capacity for hatred. This has 
often been expressed in patriotic movements, such as the Na- 
tional Humiliation Day, which was observed on May 30 for many 
years to solidify public sentiment against Japan over the " infa- 
mous " twenty-one demands of 1915. But the Chinese also pos- 
sess an equally marked capacity for forgiveness, once the cause 
of friction is removed. In all the relationships of Chinese Gov- 
ernments with Western nations there was no nation that devel- 
oped so favorable a place in the esteem of the Chinese people as 
the United States. The Chinese had come to look upon America 
as their great and good friend whom they sought to imitate in 
many ways. The temporary resentment against America over 
the Treaty of Versailles was removed and soon forgotten after 
Shan-tung was restored to China in 1922 ? following the Wash- 
ington Disarmament Conference. After 1922, Americans were 
soon in full ascendancy again and held the preferred place 
in Chinese esteem until the dark days of Japanese aggression, 
when the Chinese found it most difficult to reconcile the oft- 
expressed policy of American friendship for China with the 
unrestricted sale of war materials by America and other West- 
ern nations to Japan. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and 
Hong-kong, followed by the entry of America and the British 
nations in the war against Japan, the Chinese felt that at last 
the Western nations were taking their stand on China's side, 
and a feeling sprang up toward America and Britain that was 
comparable to forgiveness. The rational Chinese mind felt that 

Christianity's Contribution 141 

there was a certain justice in the bruises inflicted on America 
at Pearl Harbor and Manila, and on Britain at Hong-kong and 
Singapore, It was then that China's unusual capacity to forgive 
sprang forth with a revival of the most cordial relations with both 
America and Britain. A further reason was the tremendous en- 
couragement derived by the Chinese from the realization that 
they were no longer alone against the enemy. Allied with them 
were the Western democracies, which gave them assurance 
of ultimate victory. This revival of American prestige was 
augmented by the Lend-Lease program, 1941-1945, and the 
American military and financial aid to China that immediately 
followed American entry into the war. 20 At the same time the 
Chinese achieved the culmination of twenty-year endeavor, the 
abolition of the unequal treaties and the negotiation of treaties 
of equality with the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. 
These were tremendous stimuli to a nation ravaged by wanton 
war. 21 

It was to be hoped that victory would inaugurate an era of 
the closest co-operation and resultant prosperity for both the 
Western democracies and China. Instead, the years following 
victory have witnessed the collapse of all American influence, 
in spite of the most unprecedented amount of material aid 
ever given China by any other nation in all history. 22 The posi- 
tion of other Western nations, such as Great Britain, Canada, 
or France, has been hardly any better. The rapid deteriora- 
tion in the Nationalist Government of China, and its removal 
from the mainland to Formosa as a result of the triumph of the 
Communist forces, caused increasing difficulties for the Chris- 
tian Churches. 

The names of Mao Tse-tung, Chou En-Iai, and Chu Teh 
have been identified with revolutionary China since the first 
march of Sun Yat-sen's Kuomintang. By 1924, Chou En-lai was 
chief of the political department of the Nationalist Wharnpoa 
Military Acadfemy and closely associated with the young stal- 
wart known as Chiang Kai-shek. It was in 1925 that Chiang 

142 The Lost Churches of China 

appointed Chou as political commissar of Chiang's first Na- 
tionalist Army. In 1927, when Chiang discovered that the 
Communists intended to seize power for themselves at the ex- 
pense of the Nationalist cause, he severed all relations with 
them. When the Communist Government at Han-kow was 
forced to yield and escaped over the mountains of Northwest 
China to Ye-nan in Shen-si, they were led by Mao, Chou, and 
Chu Teh. For the next nine years the Communists were ruth- 
lessly opposed by Chiang Kai-shek and were compelled to 
seek their survival in the Northwest In China the sources of 
revenue for support of the Government have come chiefly 
from taxes on commerce in transit. The Communists were 
driven into the least promising area of China in so far as 
sources of revenue could be expected. In 1936, when the Com- 
munist power was at its lowest ebb, they won new support by 
their demand for all-out resistance against Japanese aggres- 
sion and by their readiness to join forces with the Nationalists 
under Chiang Kai-shek in common resistance to the enemy. 
During the nine years 1936-1945, China's struggle against 
Japan was continually handicapped by the internal tensions re- 
sulting from Chiang Kai-shek's fears of what would happen if 
the Communists should be given all the arms they demanded 
to ight the Japanese. These fears were not without foundation 
and the dangers were ably foretold in 1928 by Chapman: 

" Communism is still a grave menace with which tie Nationalist 
Government will have to reckon. If we are to judge by the history of 
its development in Russia, bloodier and more extensive holocausts 
than have yet occurred may be expected from it as it ferments and 
matures in districts where Government authority is weak; and the 
Nationalists may yet be driven to meet its challenge by a ruthless 
process of extermination. Though the leading Russian Communists 
and a number of the subordinate Russian advisers have been ex- 
pelled, and the rule of the Chinese Communists within the National- 
ist Government has been shattered, many of them having been killed, 
it would be a fundamental mistake to assume that Communist activ- 
ity in China is at an end and may be disregarded as a factor of im- 
portance in the future* No characteristic of the disciples of Com- 
munism is more extraordinary than their unwavering faith and their 
indomitable courage and enthusiasm,** 2S 

Christianity's Contribution 143 

This accurate appraisal has been fully sustained by the 
events of the past twenty-five years. Those who failed to be- 
lieve the plain words uttered by the chairman of the Com- 
munist Party in China, Mao Tse-tung, deluded themselves. It 
would have been well for the Western friends of China to give 
more weight to the proclamation that was issued on July 13, 
1927, by the Soviet Comintern executive: "The revolutionary 
role of the Government at Han-kow is finished. Therefore, 
Communists must spread an agrarian revolution and arm 
workers and peasants/' 24 The subsequent actions of the Com- 
munists in China supported the constant fear of Chiang Kai- 
shek that the truce in which they united to fight against Japan 
was only for the period of the national crisis, and that 
inevitably they would seize the first opportunity to wrest con- 
trol of the state by supplanting the National Government. Suc- 
cessive attempts were made by American diplomatic represent- 
atives to force a coalition of the rival political forces within 
China, particularly to bring together in one government the 
Nationalists and Communists. 25 The ** White Paper " released 
by the U.S. Department of State reveals a wistful hope that in 
some way Communism will be prevented from engulfing 
China. There is a fundamental error on the part of many West- 
ern minds in the tendency to look at China through Western 
glasses only, by which we seek parallel patterns that will ap- 
proximate die democratic processes with which we are famil- 
iar. The democratic Western mind is accustomed to government 
that arises out of the interaction of two or more political parties, 
with the responsible government formed from the majority 
party, and the minority party comprising the opposition, act- 
ing as a restraint upon the government to prevent abuse of 
power. We are unable to conceive of an effective democracy 
without this safeguard. It was natural that American diplo- 
matic representatives in China should feel that one of the most 
important steps to strengthen the Chinese Government was to 
insist upon recognition of the rival political party as a com- 
ponent factor in the Government. But in this case, the rival 

144 The Lost Churches of China 

political party was not merely a minority political part}', but 
was, and had been for years, an armed insurgent group, which 
both defied the central Government o Chiang Kai-shek and 
claimed sovereign jurisdiction over the areas it controlled. It 
issued its own currency and postage stamps, made its own 
laws, and announced that it sought the ultimate domination of 
the entire country. By their own admission, if the Communists 
were ever to become the majority or controlling political in- 
strument, they would not tolerate any opposition party. The 
United States ambassador, Major General Patrick J. Hurley, 
discerned this in 1945. 20 

At this time, the terms of the Yalta Agreement had not been 
communicated to the Chinese. It was only upon the eve of 
Russia's entry into the war, just preceding Japan's surrender, 
that Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek was made aware of the 
decisions of the Yalta Agreement. In the published papers of 
Harry Hopkins it is disclosed that the Yalta Agreement was 
secret and not to be divulged to China until Russia was ready 
to enter the war. 

< On June 15, 1945, Ambassador Hurley informed Generalissimo 
Chiang Kai-shek of the provisions of the Yalta Agreement pursuant 
to instructions from the president of June 9, 1945. At the same time 
the ambassador communicated to the generalissimo Marshal Stalin's 
categorical assurances regarding the Chinese sovereignty in Man- 
churia and his oral concurrence to the principle of the Open Door 
in China, both of which Stalin had given to the president via Harry 
Hopkins, who had been on special mission to Moscow in May- June, 
1945." 2r 

On the eve of Japan's collapse, Russia entered the war, oc- 
cupying Manchuria and North Korea. The United States had 
provided a stock pile of Lend-Lease military supplies at Vladivo- 
stok for this purpose. The Russians were simply unable to ex- 
pead this vast supply of military equipment in five days of 
conflict. Moreover, the Russian forces in Manchuria and Korea 
received the surrender of huge stocks of Japanese arms. 

The Nationalist Government of China, at the time of the Jap- 
anese surrender, was in control only of the southwest section 

Christianity's Contribution 145 

of China. The first obligations of the Government involved the 
return to the capital at Nan-king, the reoccupation of Shang- 
hai, the other port cities, and the island of Formosa. Following 
the surrender of Japan, the United States invited the National- 
ist Government of China to occupy Formosa in accord with the 
Cairo Declaration of 1943, since Japan had seized Formosa 
from China in 1893. 28 Five hundred thousand Japanese in 
Formosa were repatriated to Japan. But, to the dismay of the 
Nationalist Government, the Chinese Communists, whose head- 
quarters were in North China, were alerted to the opportunity 
and streamed across the North China plains to Manchuria be- 
fore the Nationalists could occupy the area. Observers were 
surprised to see the Communist troops marching to Manchuria 
unarmed. It was in Manchuria that the Communists received 
arms. When the Nationalist Government was able to give at- 
tention to Manchuria, they were confronted with a fait accom- 
pli, which resulted in civil war with a well-armed insurgent 
force pitted against them. Inasmuch as Russia was the occupy- 
ing power in Manchuria at the time of the Japanese surrender, 
it is inconceivable that the Chinese Communists could have 
been allowed into Manchuria or supplied with military equip- 
ment there without the consent and co-operation of Soviet 
Russia. The key to this riddle is to be found in the Yalta Agree- 
ment. ** On behalf of the United States, Great Britain, and the 
U.S.S.R. on February 11, 1945, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin 
signed at Yalta an agreement containing the political conditions 
upon which the Soviet Union would enter the war against 
Japan." 29 This agreement pledged to restore to Russia the 
former rights held by czarist Russia in Manchuria prior to the 
Russo-Japanese War in 1903-1904. That Roosevelt and Church- 
ill would have, or could have, consented to Stalin's demand at 
Yalta is utterly incredible. The demand was base because there 
was at the time an existing treaty of friendship between the 
U.S.S.R. and the Republic of China, the Sino-Soviet Treaty of 
1924, which recognized Chinese sovereignty in Outer Mon- 
golia and Manchuria, and in which the U.S.S.R. repudiated the 

146 The Lost Churches of China 

unjust czarlst claims in Manchuria which had provoked the 
Russo-Japanese War. The treaty further pledged Russia to re- 
spect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China. In the 
Yalta Agreement Stalin secretly obtained from Roosevelt and 
Churchill the pledge to give back to Russia that which the 
U.S.S.R. had publicly and solemnly renounced. Moreover, the 
Yalta Agreement was a betrayal of Chiang Kai-shek ? inasmuch 
as it repudiated the public pledge given by the president and 
the prime minister to the generalissimo at Cairo in 1943. Thus 
at Yalta was laid the fuse to a delayed-action explosion which 
was destined to rock China to its very foundations, and to de- 
stroy both the Nationalist Government and American and Brit- 
ish influence in China in its chain reaction. 30 In the resultant 
disaster it was inevitable that the work of American and Brit- 
ish missions should suffer and that the Chinese churches that 
had developed from nearly 150 years of modern missionary 
endeavor should be thrown into a state of utter bewilderment. 
The atomic bomb that dropped on Hiroshima killed 100,000, 
but the psychological bomb that exploded on China broke the 
morale of 450,000,000 who could not believe that it could be 
possible. The Chinese, led by Chiang Kai-shek, had fought 
Japan for seventeen years, in a stubborn struggle against in- 
surmountable odds. They had vowed to lay down their lives 
but never to lay down their arms until Manchuria should be 
returned to China. In the hour of victory they were asked by 
their trusted allies to drink the dregs of humiliation and bitter- 

Chiang Kai-shek was China's national hero, almost wor- 
shiped as a symbolic figure of patriotism and resistance. On the 
eve of Russia's entry into the war, Chiang was advised by the 
President of the United States that he must assent to the Yalta 
Agreement, the nature of which was disclosed to Mm for the 
first time. He was asked to accept the assurance that Russia 
would negotiate a new treaty of " friendship/* and Chiang was 
asked to send an emissary to Moscow with power to negotiate 
such a treaty with the Soviet Union, ratifying the Yalta Agree- 

Christianity's Contribution 147 

ment 31 The Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Alliance was 
signed August 14, 1945, in Moscow. The negotiators on behalf 
of China were Dr. T. V. Soong and Dr. Wang Shih-chieh. This 
treaty pledged that the Soviet Union support "will go ex- 
clusively to the National Government." 32 In February, 1952, 
at Paris, the General Assembly of the United Nations, by a 
vote of 25 to 9, found Russia guilty of flouting this treaty. 
Chiang Kai-shek had had serious misgivings, but the provi- 
sions of the Yalta Agreement positively and unequivocally gave 
no possible alternative for him to do anything but assent and 
negotiate the new treaty. His hand was forced. 33 No statement 
in all the 1,054 pages of the " White Paper " issued by the U.S. 
Department of State is so accurate or so revealing as: " It was, 
however, unfortunate that China was not previously con- 
sulted." 34 

The news was withheld from the Chinese public by the Na- 
tionalist Government in fear of the disfavor with which it would 
be received. It was not until the Communist forces in North 
China had become armed with modern equipment and had 
undertaken open rebellion against the Nationalist Government 
that the full story of the Yalta Agreement began to filter through 
to the Chinese people. The first word of it was by the " grape- 
vine," which has always been a most effective method of trans- 
mitting important news in China. It was unbelievable, un- 
thinkable, unspeakable, incredible! No, not America! America 
would not stoop to such betrayal! That both Britain and Amer- 
ica would betray China in the hour of victory was simply un- 
bearable! When the Chinese realized the full enormity of what 
had happened, and that Chiang Kai-shek and his Government 
had concurred, then the reaction in China, which had first been 
one of stupefaction, turned to indignation and blind fury. Both 
Chiang and the foreigners must go, the foreigners because their 
national leaders had betrayed China, and Chiang for having 
assented to the betrayal! 

The Chinese have always focused their antiforeign agitation 
against one nation at a time. In this hour the focus is on Amer- 

148 The Lost Churches of China 

lea. It was inconceivable to the Chinese that the great nation, 
so long their good friend, which had helped them so much, 
could be a party to such a betrayal The United States con- 
tinued to give extensive aid to the Nationalist Government in 
the effort to prevent its fall, 35 while it required some consider- 
able time for the full news regarding the Yalta Agreement to 
penetrate the consciousness of the mass of China. As this " chain 
reaction " developed, the progressive deterioration of the Na- 
tionalist Government was accelerated. The question is often 
asked, How could the Chinese people assent to the rise of the 
Communist regime? The answer is to be found, not in the area 
of assent, but because the people were so obsessed that the Na- 
tionalist Government must go because of their loss of national 
honor and face that they would not tolerate a leader, even 
their greatest hero in history, who had capitulated to the dic- 
tates of a foreign Government, even a friendly Government, 
that had betrayed them. Thus the Communist regime came to 
power in China in an hour of great confusion and largely by 

It was in this period of confusion that the United States Gov- 
ernment turned to an American missionary and besought Mm 
to serve as American ambassador to China. In July, 1946 ? 
Dr. John Leighton Stuart, bom in China of Presbyterian mis- 
sionary parents, himself a Presbyterian minister and the most 
noted educational missionary in China, president of Yen-ching 
University, was persuaded to accept the ambassadorship. 86 
Dr. Stuart was one of the most beloved and respected Amer- 
icans in the eyes of the Chinese. In his new capacity he worked 
most diligently to save the situation from the impending dis- 
aster. Both Ambassador Stuart and General George C. Marshall, 
who was in China in 1946 7 sought to effect a reconciliation be- 
tween the rival forces of the Nationalists and Communists. 37 
But the very menace that Chiang Kai-shek so accurately fore- 
saw and warned against now lifted its ugly and sinister head. 
The Chinese Communists were not just a rival political party 
in any democratic sense. They supported the rights of minor- 

Christianity's Contribution 149 

ities only while they constituted the minority. It had become 
Increasingly clear that whenever the Communists could, by 
Intrigue or conquest, seize control, then the Nationalists would 
either have to flee or be purged, for no opposition party would 
be tolerated. There was the deepest misgiving in the minds of 
many in China as to whether a missionary of many years* serv- 
ice in China could accept the appointment as ambassador of 
his own country without creating the most grave misunder- 
standings. This concern needs to be placed against the back- 
ground of the embarrassing entanglements of Christian mis- 
sions with the political motives of Western powers in China. 
Not even the highest integrity and unexcelled reputation of 
John Leighton Stuart could withstand the revival of the criti- 
cism of anti-Christian agitation by antiforeign elements, claim- 
Ing that at last even the American missionaries revealed that 
their ultimate interests are Indissolubly joined with the interests 
of their national Government. If Dr. Stuart could have re- 
mained at Yen-ching University as president, and continued to 
identify himself with the legitimately national aspirations of 
Chinese students, possibly joining them in a protest against the 
Yalta Agreement, the Chinese would have continued to revere 
him. If Chiang Kai-shek had been able to defy both America 
and Britain by refusing to assent to the betrayal at Yalta, the 
Chinese would have been willing to follow him, even on millet 
alone. All the material aid of food, clothing, tools, weapons, and 
medical supplies that America sent to China 3S could not erase 
or counterbalance the resentment of the Chinese because of 
the loss of face incurred by the infringement on their national 
sovereignty and honor. 

Earlier in the twentieth century the Chinese had found the 
missionaries their stanch supporters in advocating revision of 
the unequal treaties between China and the Western powers. 
The Chinese had been buoyed up since 1943 by the knowledge 
that the United States and Great Britain had abrogated all pre- 
existing treaties with China, to be succeeded by treaties of 
equality and mutual respect, and had guaranteed that all ter~ 

150 The Lost Churches of China 

ritory taken from China by any foreign nation in the previous 
fifty years was to be restored to China upon the conclusion of 
the war with Japan. At the end of the war, when the Chinese 
discovered that America and Britain had shackled China in 
the Yalta Agreement with fetters that were controlled by the 
hands of Russia, the mood of the Chinese was pregnant with 
uncontrollable portent toward America and Britain. 

The great amount of economic aid given to China by Amer- 
ica during the war and postwar years created many difficulties 
in administration. The few Americans who knew the interior 
of China, and held a grasp of the language, were mostly mis- 
sionaries, A number of these were released by their Boards to 
aid in the distribution of relief supplies through UNRRA and 
other agencies, but the number available was utterly inade- 
quate, so that personnel had to be sent to China for administra- 
tive purposes who were lacking both in language and in cultural 
appreciation of the Chinese. Thus they at times presented to 
the Chinese the most pronounced attitudes of superiority on 
the part of the foreigner that modem Chinese had ever seen. 
This was most unlike the missionaries they had known. This 
irritation could not be relieved by the superior material bene- 
fits that the foreigner brought with him. 

" The West has contented itself with pointing out how little Russia 
can give to China in the way of raw materials, or machinery, or 
manufactured goods, and likes to contrast what the West can do. 
We tend to overestimate the appeal of material benefits. We have 
forgotten that man does not live by bread alone; that he will respond 
to ideals rather than refrigerators." 39 

The amount of American aid to China after 1945 often be- 
wildered Chinese Christians who had shared with missionaries 
for many years in rigorous budgeting of mission funds. 

Just before the collapse of the Nationalist Government and 
its withdrawal from Nan-king in the face of Communist suc- 
cesses, Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek sought the 
moral support of the Christian Churches to rally the country 
behind the Government. The Roman Catholic Church gave its 

Christianity's Contribution 151 

assurance of support by one of its Chinese bishops campaign- 
ing publicly for the support of Chiang Kai-shek. In 1947 the 
Nationalist Government had established diplomatic relations 
with the Vatican and sent to Rome as envoy a member of the 
Methodist Church. By 1949 the Chinese ambassador to the 
Vatican had renounced his Protestant connections and had 
been accepted into the Roman Catholic Church by confession 
of faith. In contrast, representatives of the Church of Christ in 
China and the National Christian Council of China met with 
Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek in an all-day ses- 
sion in which the Protestant leaders stood by the position of 
strict neutrality on the part of their Churches in the political 
crisis. They were later to discover that the Communist regime 
would permit no such neutrality. 

Space does not permit us to dwell upon the details of the 
fast-moving scene which carried the Nationalist Government 
from the mainland to the island of Formosa. The prominence 
given to Chiang Kai-shek in all news about China has over- 
shadowed the fact that the only constitutional legislature of 
China, elected during the postwar years, is also in Formosa. 
The disintegration of the Nationalist forces proceeded at a 
faster pace than the onward march of the Communists. In 
many strategic centers there was no bloodshed. The people of 
China had decided that Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalist 
Government must go. No argument was permitted; none was 
desired. There was mute universal agreement. The people had 
not voted for the Communists; indeed they knew not what to 
expect. Only one thing was clear in their minds: national pride 
had been affronted by the Western powers, and the affront had 
been condoned by Chiang Kai-shek and his Government. That 
was the end. The people were ready to accept any government 
that offered to redeem their national honor and " face." To any 
foreign resident of China it was clear that the unrest of 1948 and 
1949 was not necessarily the fruit of Soviet intrigue. Long be- 
fore the Bolshevik revolution, China was stirring, recalling past 
greatness and nursing resentment of the encroaching foreigner. 

152 The Lost Churches of China 

* But the urge was there the urge for justice and integrity 
within China and an honourable place amongst the nations of 
the world. This urge persists and has grown stronger in the 
face of obstacles." 40 

Only the Communists seemed aware of the psychological fac- 
tors that created the tidal wave that carried them to power. 
Like a storm sweeping into a low-pressure area, Communism 
rushed into this vacuum of a helpless and prostrated nation. The 
conquest by the Communists mystified many Westerners, and 
even today people are confused as to how the Communists, 
with their guerrilla armies, with inferior equipment, without air 
force or navy, without the control of industrial cities like Mouk- 
den, Tien-tsin, Han-kow, Wu-sih, Shang-hai, etc., without the 
large number of Western-trained personnel, cut off from the 
sources of oil and coal, and scattered in isolated bases through- 
out the countryside, could conquer the well-trained and Amer- 
ican-supported Nationalist armies. How was it possible for the 
people from desolate Shen-si to organize a nation and defeat 
the mechanized forces of the Nationalists? The tragedy of these 
years is a sad story of a nation that had rejected its ancient 
cultural heritage and was living on a borrowed Western sec- 
ularism, while at the same time it was betrayed by the same 
Western nations in whom it had placed its reliance. China had 
become a nation that had lost its ancient virtue. In its place were 
vague principles of democracy which were mouthed in platitu- 
dinous phrases without being geared to action. The Nationalists 
had too long talked of democracy and nationalism to survive the 
shock of Yalta. The Communist leadership was sensitive to the 
fact that the ** victories " of the " Liberation Army " were largely 
by default. No government could endure unless it could re- 
deem the sense of shame that overwhelmed the people. In the 
long-drawn-out negotiations at Moscow in January and Febru- 
ary, 1950, Mao Tse-tung must have exerted very great pressure 
upon Stalin, pointing out that Russia could not hope to hold 
the alliance of the Chinese if it insisted on the terms of the 
Yalta Agreement, which contradicted the Sino-Soviet Treaty 

Christianity's Contribution 153 

of Friendship of 1924, in which Russia had renounced forever 
the former czarist rights and usurpations in Manchuria. In 
signing the Yalta Agreement, Stalin had " forgotten " the Sino- 
Soviet Treaty of 1924. When Mao Tse-tung returned to Pe- 
king, he brought a new Sino-Soviet Treaty of 1950, in which 
Russia agreed to return to China the concessions in Manchuria 
that America and Britain had given to Russia in the Yalta Agree- 
ment. It is not difficult to imagine how Mao could contend at 
Moscow that no government in China could survive the present 
temper of the people unless that government could accomplish 
the fulfillment of China's nationalistic demands for political 
integrity and unimpaired sovereignty. In announcing the Sino- 
Soviet Treaty of 1950, the Pe-king Government declared: " The 
Government proved its ability to defend the state, the territo- 
rial integrity of the nation, and the national honor and dignity 
of the Chinese people." At least the Communists in China knew 
what was uppermost in the Chinese mind. Mao Tse-tung re- 
turned to Pe-king immeasurably stronger, to receive the ac- 
claim of China. Mao had talked back to Stalin. Whatever Gov- 
ernment could articulate the national yearnings into effective 
action would have received the support of the people. The peo- 
ple were not concerned with political ideologies so much as 
with their national pride. The Government that could both 
twist the tail of the British lion and dare to puE a feather 
out of the American eagle at the same time received the wildest 
adulations of the masses. At last this was a Government for the 
Chinese at least the masses gave it support for this reason. 

Christians, Protestant and Roman Catholic, are confronted in 
the middle of the twentieth century with cataclysmic losses. 
This disaster suddenly engulfed the Churches of China at a 
time when they had larger constituencies and apparently 
greater influence than ever before. The Christian Churches in 
1945 held the highest prestige. Not only Generalissimo Chiang 
Kai-shek and Madame Chiang Kai-shek but also many mem- 
bers of the Nationalist Government were either Christians or 
sympathetic to the Christian Church. The Chinese had been 

154 The Lost Churches of China 

confident that with the Christian leadership of Chiang Kai- 
shek, their Government could expect the " Christian " nations 
of the West to be fair to China. Thus the disclosure of the be- 
trayal of China at Yalta created such devastating havoc. Com- 
munism has capitalized the confusion, presenting itself as a 
program of realism and action designed to implement the new 
social order that the Christians had so long talked about 




rfflHIS chapter reveals the 
A Churches of China in a pe- 
riod of great crisis, rising to inspiring heights, tumbling to be- 
wildering depths, divided in multiple sects, taking the wrong 
turns, selling out to political masters, making a shambles of the 
faith. It is heroism and nobility at its best, and degradation at 
its worst. The Church, which served as the spark plug for five 
strategic and simultaneous revolutions, loses to the enemy 
which sowed tares in the night. Atheism, materialism, and Com- 
munism have choked the fields so carefully tilled by Christian 
missions, revealing the fallacy of the materialistic emphasis of 
the social gospel. The supreme test today does not arise from a 
conflict between Christianity and the non-Christian religions. 
The issue is whether there is to be any religion at all in China. 
Prior to the outbreak of the Japanese invasion of China, there 
were, in 1926, 8,200 Protestant missionaries in China. Most of 
these were from the United States. The annual increase of mis- 
sionary personnel ranged from 600 to 725 during the years 1916 
to 1928. Many of these were short-term workers. The antifor- 
eign uprising in 1927 resulted in the withdrawal of a large num- 
ber of missionaries. By the spring of 1929 there were about 
4,750 Protestant missionaries in China. This was approximately 
78 per cent of what was considered the " normal number !* * 
In 1947, Protestant missionaries included 2,536 from the United 
States, marking China as the largest mission field of American 

156 The Lost Churches of China 

Churches. The Protestant Churches reported a communicant 
membership of 402,539 in 1922, and a gain of an additional 
50,000 from 1920 to 1930. 2 By 1935 the Protestants had ap- 
proached 600,000, and in 1950 reported a membership well 
over 800 ? 000. 3 The number of Roman Catholics is much larger, 
due to reasons already given, and is currently estimated at 
4,000,000. The number of Roman Catholic missionary nuns and 
priests in China in 1950 was stated to be about 4,000. 4 The im- 
portant fact is that when the Communists gained ascendancy 
in 1949 the Christian Churches exercised an influence in Chi- 
nese affairs that reached far beyond their ratio of numerical 
strength to the whole population. Missionary societies, most of 
them working through the Chinese Churches which they had 
helped to bring into being, were operating 13 colleges and uni- 
versities, 236 middle schools and a much larger number of 
primary and grade schools, and 260 hospitals. In 1937 there 
had been 322 mission hospitals in operation, but 62 were closed 
during the war with Japan, 9 of which are reported to have 
been destroyed, and 3 had been utterly looted. 5 Some of this 
destruction was perpetrated by Communists, during the period 
of civil war. The Communist authorities at the outset of the 
new regime gave little interference with the operation of these 
institutions. It was after they had consolidated their political 
control over the country that they gradually extended their 
control over all educational and medical institutions. By the 
summer of 1951, within two years, the essential Christian wit- 
ness of these institutions was brought to an end. 

The majority of graduates from Christian schools and univer- 
sities have made no profession of the Christian faith. A large fac- 
tor has been the antiforeign agitation, such as began in 1926- 
1927 in the anti-British riots in Shang-hai and Pe-king, in which 
students played a prominent part. At that time the focus of 
antiforeign feeling was directed against Great Britain, be- . 
cause the student class realized that all the treaties between 
China and the Western powers hinged upon the treaties with 
Britain. All other nations claimed, through the most favored 

Unwitting Contribution to Communism 157 

nation clause, all benefits that were enjoyed by Britain, If the 
Chinese could force a revision of the treaties with Britain, it 
would automatically follow that the revision would affect 
treaties with all other powers. This factor in the development 
of atheism, simply as a, protest to the connections of Chris- 
tianity with the Western powers and the objectionable ** un- 
equal treaties/' was undoubtedly the reason for many intel- 
lectuals' being unwilling to become members of the Christian 
Church. On the other hand, their modern scientific education 
had disillusioned their minds regarding the animism and su- 
perstition of much of China's religious practices. From a reli- 
gious standpoint the majority of the young intellectuals moved 
in a vacuum. " Atheism is popular in modern China. This is 
partly the result of the study of contemporary philosophy of 
the West by modern scholars and partly due to the atheistic 
teachings of Communism." 6 It has been estimated that of the 
quarter million Chinese students at the time of the anti-British 
agitation of 1927, 75 per cent were atheist or agnostic, and only 
25 per cent were religiously inclined, and that of this number 
only 10 per cent held any personal religious conviction. Of this 
small number the majority were Christians, a few being Bud- 
dhists. 7 Because of Christianity's historic connection with the 
Western powers, and because of the overemphasis given the 
social benefits connected with Christianity, what was begun as 
a message of spiritual power became lost in a materialistic race 
to outshine Communism. 

In 1929 it was announced that one of the provisions of the 
concordat signed between Mussolini and the Vatican was that 
the Italian State undertook to subsidize Catholic missions in 
China. " Likewise the fact that under the direction of Mussolini 
a subsidy of ten million lire is to come to Italian missions in 
China is a sign of healthy rivalry in the further spread of Chris- 
tianity in China." 8 To Roman Catholic minds in the West this 
was an occasion for rejoicing. But the Chinese met it with 
increased anti-Christian propaganda. It became just another 
evidence in their hands by which to charge the connections be- 

158 The Lost Churches of China 

tween Christianity and imperialism. 

Christianity has been compromised by its attempts to gain 
ascendancy in China through political alignments with influ- 
ential states, powers, or parties. The right of Christianity to 
exist in China has repeatedly rested on external forces outside 
itself, which it sought to employ for its protection and thereby 
to expand its interests. Seldom has the Church dared to trust 
its cause solely on its innate character and its own spiritual re- 
sources and message. This is the chief reason for the accusation 
by the Communists in China that the Church is allied with 
Western imperialism. The Nestorians used political alliances 
to gain their security, only to result in their ultimate destruc- 
tion. The loss of this historic Church, and the obliteration of 
the Franciscans at the end of the fourteenth century, confronts 
Christians with a challenge that can only be ignored with dire 
peril. Christianity was so completely wiped out in China that 
when the first Jesuit missionaries reached there two hundred 
years later they had no knowledge that Christians had been 
active in China a thousand years before them. Jesuit prestige 
rose in the seventeenth century to the highest places of honor, 
only to crash in the aftermath of political intrigues. The im- 
perial edict of the eighteenth century banished the Jesuits and 
all other missionaries, suppressed Christianity throughout the 
empire, and closed the doors of China to all foreigners. Prot- 
estant missionaries began their work in China at the beginning 
of the nineteenth century, followed a generation later by Ro- 
man Catholics. Both these streams of missionary endeavor be- 
came entangled in the political involvements of Western na- 
tions with China. At the very dawn of the twentieth century the 
Boxer massacre attempted to wipe out another century of mis- 
sionary endeavor. It was China's fourth attempt to purge the 
land of foreign missionaries. In the twentieth century Western 
Christendom has sent to China the greatest number of mis- 
sionaries ever sent to one country in all history, both Protestants 
and Roman Catholics, together with the greatest outpouring 
of treasure dedicated to the building of a strong Christian move- 

Unwitting Contribution to Communism 159 

ment in this vast country, which holds nearly a fourth of the 
world's population. Again the Chinese have arisen to cast out 
missionaries, accompanied by persecution, imprisonment, and 
often massacre. The remarkable thing is that Christianity made 
as much progress in China as it has made under these perilous 

There is a tendency for Christians in the West to dismiss the 
losses in China by blaming it on Communism. This is an over- 
simplification which dodges our responsibility. The appalling 
fact is that in the middle of the twentieth century the Churches 
of China, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, are lost in con- 
fusion; countless Chinese Christian leaders and missionaries 
have suffered imprisonment and martyrdom. In spite of many 
instances where the connections of Christian missions with the 
Western powers have compromised the Churches of China 
across the centuries, missionaries have never learned the full 
folly of this perilous procedure. The glaring lesson of history 
is that Christianity has been cast out of China five times in 
thirteen hundred years. Each exodus of missionaries has re- 
sulted from the repercussions of political entanglements. This 
is the most serious charge of the anti-Christian forces. Thus it 
constitutes the most glaring, although unwitting, contribution 
of Christianity to the rise of Communism. The Church that 
seeks to be God's instrument must avail itself of the lessons of 

The second contributing factor is more particularly the re- 
sponsibility of Christendom in that Christianity in this genera- 
tion so often neglected to give priority to the teaching of the 
"first and great commandment." Too often we have sought 
popularity and prestige by stressing the material benefits the 
Church had to offer. Christianity was the success religion. Too 
large a proportion of all Protestant missionary energies was 
thus expended. Missionaries who were sent to preach the gospel 
were too often the ones most encumbered with the multitude 
of humanitarian responsibilities. Many never had the time to 
acquire a sufficient command of the Chinese language to be 

160 The Lost Churches of China 

able to make an effective address in Chinese. They attempted 
to compensate for this " labor of thought " with labors of love. 
China willingly received every social service expression of Chris- 
tianity in schools, colleges, hospitals, humanitarian aid, famine 
relief, and famine prevention projects. Through these agencies 
Christianity became popularly conceived in China as the social 
reform religion. While these expressions of the faith of Western 
Christians were praiseworthy, the question confronts us to- 
day as to whether the Protestant Churches have not placed too 
much emphasis upon the social interpretation of the Christian 
message and too little emphasis upon the actual teaching of 
the message of Jesus. Too often our social gospel has been our 
only gospel. Many young Chinese students have spoken of 
Jesus Christ with deepest respect, but feel that Christianity, 
as they see it, is a barrier to the Christ. What they attack is not 
so much the religion of Jesus as it is a caricature of Christianity. 
Too many Christians of the West have interpreted the Lord's 
Prayer and its phrase, " Give us this day our daily bread," as 
a supplication for the sustenance of our physical life. Thus we 
have witnessed an increased tempo in the emphasis on meeting 
the physical needs of China's millions with food, clothing, 
health, and education. The ability of Western Christians to 
undertake these missions of mercy has been interpreted by some 
as evidence of the superiority of the Christian religion over 
China's great teachers, such as Confucius and Lao Tzu. 9 This 
overlooks the fact that Jeremiah and other Hebrew contempo- 
raries of Confucius and Lao Tzu were hardly more successful in 
Israel than the sages were in China. The social services of Chris- 
tians have been interpreted as a way by which the Western 
Church could serve as the instrument of the living God to answer 
the prayers of millions for daily bread. Have we forgotten that 
* it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every 
word ... of God." The tragedy of this hour is to be traced to 
the failure of the Churches to impart the full meaning of the 
words of Jesus, " I am the bread of life." The question arises 
whether the Churches in China are not lost because the 

Unwitting Contribution to Communism 161 

Churches of the West, upon whom they leaned for nurture, 
have first lost the way? The remarkable success of Protestant 
missions in the twentieth century has been due to factors very 
similar to those that first brought success to the Jesuit scholars 
in the seventeenth century. The Jesuits brought to China a con- 
tribution of astronomical science which China needed and for 
which it gave the Jesuits periods of relative prosperity and 
favor. The Protestants brought, two centuries later, modern ed- 
ucational institutions and scientific medical services. These 
contributed greatly to the welcome given Christianity, for the 
missionaries met China's desperate need for scientific educa- 
tion in its race to overtake the twentieth century. The Jesuits of 
the seventeenth and the Protestants of the twentieth century 
have this in common: both movements relied heavily upon 
their gifts of material benefits that China needed rather than 
upon the primacy of the message they were sent to proclaim. 
In many cases the Christian schools have been content to dem- 
onstrate the superiority of Western scientific education without 
accomplishing the primary mission of winning the students to 
Christ. A significant slogan used by some missionaries, and be- 
lieved by many, was, " Ministry to the secular needs of men in 
the spirit of Christ is evangelism." This is evident in the follow- 
ing appeal from a prominent Chinese Christian layman: 

" China needs scientific and technical men to develop her country 
in order to solve the problem of livelihood. If Christian missionaries 
could render service in solving this problem, as they have along 
medical and educational lines, their preaching will be doubly ef- 
fective. With the majority of the people facing privation, poverty, 
disease, and starvation, it seems irrelevant to elaborate upon the 
necessity and glory of prayer. Confucius said, * One must be suffi- 
ciently clad and fed before lie can be expected to learn the virtues 
of propriety and music/ The instinct of self-preservation always 
stands first in human calculation, and this was why Jesus Christ fed 
the thousands before he began preaching to them. If Christianity 
is to be a national force, it must belong to China and must serve 
China in practical ways. The so-called Christian nations interpret 
Christian teachings differently in different places. Only a scientific 
interpretation of its principles can bear the test of survival." 10 

162 The Lost Churches of China 

This is a very plausible and appealing argument. Written 
by a Cabinet minister in the Nationalist Government, it re- 
ceived wide publicity and exerted considerable influence. But 
the author overlooked completely that Jesus did not feed the 
thousands before he taught them. The Gospel account of the 
feeding of the five thousand clearly says, " He came out, saw 
much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, 
because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he be- 
gan to teach them many things" (Mark 6:82-44). It was only 
when the day was " far spent " that the disciples came to Jesus to 
express their concern that the people should be sent away to 
obtain food. It was then that the people were told to sit down, 
and they were fed. Similarly, in the "Feeding of the Four 
Thousand" (Mark 8:1-9), it is clear in the Gospel narrative 
that Jesus gave primacy to preaching and teaching, and that 
the people who thronged to hear him were so hungry for his 
words of life that they forgot their physical needs until Jesus 
remembered them (Mark 8:2, 3). 

The demands for maintaining educational standards second 
to none rested on the theory that Christian education must be 
demonstrated to be the best Then, it was believed, it would 
follow logically that the Christian religion would be accepted 
as the best. This view, to say the least, was not very different 
from the Jesuit claim of the seventeenth century, that the test 
of true religion would be determined by the trueness of the 
forecast of file solar eclipse. Certainly the middle schools and 
colleges founded by Protestant missions set the highest aca- 
demic standards in China. 11 Missionaries in the twentieth cen- 
tury gave China the best scientific education, from the primary 
schools to universities. Modern scientific medicine was the gift 
of Christianity through mission hospitals, medical schools, and 
schools for training nurses. Famine relief and prevention was a 
notable contribution of Christianity, with the introduction of 
scientific agriculture, irrigation, and engineering. The impelling 
needs of China, arising out of the Japanese aggression, evoked 
the greatest outpouring of gifts for humanitarian relief that 

Unwitting Contribution to Communism 163 

has ever been known. The application of the social gospel be- 
came, for many in this generation, the measuring rod of success, 
even in religious circles. This vast undertaking was hailed by 
the contributing Churches as the greatest social application of 
Christianity in all history. To a large degree it portrayed Chris- 
tianity in China with such a materialistic emphasis that it ap- 
peared to be attempting thereby to outshine Communism. In 
the end its colossal failure to stop the onward march of Com- 
munism challenges Christians to inquire diligently regarding 
the validity of popular assumptions in present-day Christian 

There is nothing wrong with the social gospel except that it 
became, too often and in too many places, our only gospel. It 
gave to the contributors an opportunity to make their religious 
faith relevant to the Chinese who received the aid, but to the 
Chinese this dazzling outpouring of gifts from the West made 
Christianity the most materialistic religion they had ever 
known. The issue is not one that calls for abandonment of the 
social gospel, but it impels a recognition that we have left un- 
done that which we ought to have done. 

Too often a priority has been placed, in the case of both teach* 
ers from abroad and Chinese staff, not upon the teacher's 
faith in the redemptive power of the gospel of Jesus, but in the 
teacher's competency in his particular field of knowledge. Thus, 
in the course of time, it often happened that some of the tea- 
chers in Christian schools were not Christians. Their com- 
petency has been deemed more important than the integrity 
of the essential mission of the school. Many of the teachers had 
little, if any, interest in the conversion of their students. They 
did not consider that this was their responsibility. Is it suffi- 
cient to send physicians, educators, scientists, technicians, and 
engineers to the mission field? Unless these same technically 
trained men, through their own faith and example, become 
witnesses of the transforming power of the Christian gospel, 
they become a peril to the Christian cause. This has been the 
folly of the extreme Liberal position in Protestant missions. 

164 The Lost Churches of China 

The author recalls a visit to the Roman Catholic mission at 
Ta-tung-fu in Shan-si. In a long conversation with Monsignor 
Hojers, we discussed the problem of the evangelization of 
China. His attitude toward Protestants was kindly but anxious. 
He had spent thirty-four years in China. When I asked about 
his anxiety, he replied: "The Protestant missionaries are too 
easily diverted from their main job; they spend most of their 
time doing good works for which they are noted. You will be 
interested in a recent letter we have received here from the 
Holy Father in which he reminded us that the diversion of 
Protestant missionary effort from its primary objective of con- 
verting men to Christ places an added responsibility upon the 
Roman Catholic Church/' Liberals are at fault when allowing 
the social gospel to monopolize most of their energies, but this 
does not imply a justification of the Fundamentalist position 
which has given comparatively little emphasis to the social serv- 
ices. Any theological outlook that lacks cultural or social im- 
plications is irrelevant. There should be no abandonment of 
the social gospel, but a clear affirmation that the social gospel 
and the individual gospel are not two or separate approaches to 
the Christian mission. Instead, they are inseparable, in that 
one cannot succeed without the other. If religion ends with the 
individual, it ends. If it does not begin with the individual, it 
never begins. 

The extreme emphasis of the Church upon applied Chris- 
tianity reveals the impatience of the Church with the methods 
of Jesus. Modern Christians have given priority to prac- 
tical manifestations of the second commandment of Jesus 
before teaching observance of the first and greatest command- 
ment. The social application of Christianity has given to the 
donors the opportunity to give tangible expression to their 
faith, but the failure to impart to Chinese the spiritual sources 
of this motivation has left a vacuum into which Communism 
has entered. The Communist Government of China welcomes 
the Church as a social agency, but if, and when, the Church 
claims to speak in the name of God, then it is silenced. 

Unwitting Contribution to Communism 165 

" Christianity has been rent asunder by the unsatisfied and 
unsatisfiable demand for a social gospel; it has been deflected 
by humanism; it has become half ashamed of its otherworld- 
liness, without which it can make no creative contribution to 
the problems of the day in which it lives." 12 

Christians are living in an age when they are called to stand 
up and be counted. The issue in China is not merely one be- 
tween Christianity and Communism. " The real enemy is a spir- 
itual interpretation of the universe which gives a place to the 
supreme values of the spiritual life beauty, goodness, and 
truth but which does not give full value to the fact of Person- 
ality." 13 Julian Huxley was one of the first to observe that " we 
are witnessing the dawn of a struggle, not between science and 
religion, but between the God-religions and the social-reli- 
gions." 14 It is supremely important that the Church remember 
and proclaim that human life derives its purpose and dignity 
from sources beyond our humanity. Without Jesus, Christianity 
is just another social agency, as the Communists in China wish 
it to be. 

Jesus held a reverence for the individual. This quality in the 
teachings of Jesus is its distinctive characteristic and marks it 
as the true fulfillment of the teachings of Confucius, Jesus did 
not seek the crowds. He found the individual in the crowd. He 
began his ministry, not by clamoring at the gates of civil power 
or by challenging the Temple, but by laying siege to the hearts 
of obscure men and women. He did not attempt to give millions 
a whitewash of religion, but to make twelve men alive with it. 
The disciples of Jesus were summoned from the ordinary walks 
of life. Peter was impetuous; Thomas was cautious. The fact 
that Jesus chose Thomas should make the Church forever tol- 
erant of those whose minds are searching for the truth. The 
very forgiveness of Peter by Jesus should make the Church 
more merciful to those who have erred. Jesus did not employ 
political means. He did not take advantage of the murder of 
John the Baptist and start an underground movement to hurl 
Herod Antipas from the throne. He grieved when his disciples 

166 The Lost Churches of China 

were disappointed and unable to understand that the Kingdom 
of God had already come in their midst. He placed supreme 
emphasis on the witness of the Holy Spirit in the lives of men 
as the foundation of the Kingdom of God. We have preached a 
social gospel, which we should have proclaimed, but in making 
it too often and in too many places our only gospel, we 
have played havoc with Christianity by failing first of all to 
preach the ** Word " with the significance of the ** cross." What 
we have given China may have elements of Christianity in it, 
but it has not always been the full religion of Jesus as set forth 
in the New Testament. Atheism and agnosticism are wide- 
spread in China today, largely resulting from the cultural im- 
pact of the West upon China in the twentieth century. It is 
supremely important that Christians face this crisis. Our great- 
est mistake will be to engage in defensive arguments to dis- 
prove any accusation of blame that may be due us. The 
important thing is to recognize our mistakes and ta take the 
necessary steps to avoid their recurrence. 

Confronted with the rising tide of Communism, the Chris- 
tian Churches employed the fallacy of attempting to forestall 
Communism by offering the Chinese a more attractive material- 
ism than could be given by the Communists. It was in this hour 
that the Churches were lost. The popularity of Christianity in 
modern China often constituted its peril. It had become soft, 
pleasant, and social in its application. In the words of a Chi- 
nese pasto^ ** The trouble with the Christian Church today is 
that it neither hurts nor tickles anyone/* Storm warnings should 
have been read in the fact that for many years the majority of 
the graduates of Christian schools were leaving these institu- 
tions not only without having become Christians but without 
any religion at all. They had lost the anchors that previously 
held moorings to their former religious belief s the schools 
had shown them the inadequacy of their old superstitions; too 
often nothing positive or vital had taken grip in their mind, 
and they were adrift in a sea of atheism without chart or com- 
pass. It was thus that Christian missions produced a talented 

Unwitting Contribution to Communism 167 

but lost generation. Communism appealed to these trained 
young people by demanding of them greater sacrifices than 
Christianity, in its day of soft ease, dared demand. The shame- 
ful paradox is that Communism said to these students: ** If ye 
come after me, ye must deny yourselves/' and, "Whosoever 
loseth his life shall find it'* Thus students found in Communism 
a realism which they missed in Christianity. At least Commu- 
nism made every student feel that his contribution was indis- 
pensable. In 1927 at Han-kow, a young girl student about to 
be executed for her Communist affiliations told her weeping 
relatives and friends not to weep for her, saying, " I would 
rather die for something than to live for nothing like you." The 
Christian religion in this generation did not often evoke this 
kind of courage or sacrifice, simply because it no longer de- 
manded it. Jesus did not make entrance into the Kingdom of 
God an easy or popular step for men to take. The Church must 
remember that the Kingdom of God cannot be bound within 
the limits of a particular social institution or belong exclusively 
to any political system. 

A third most serious factor contributing to losses sustained 
by the Churches of China has been the lack of unity. Thus, un- 
wittingly, the Churches contributed fuel to critics. Following 
the establishment of the Republic in 1911, missionary work ex- 
panded greatly. But Protestant missions have been handi- 
capped by the pronounced cleavage between the liberal and 
conservative schools of theology. This confused the non-Chris- 
tian Chinese in regard to the Christian Church, since the com- 
petitive character of different denominations contradicted 
their protestations of unity. Attempts were made to remedy 
this situation by co-operative agreements between major mis- 
sion boards. This early resulted in a division of China into 
geographical spheres of operations, so that missionaries would 
not be competing against each other. This approach reached 
successful development in the All China Congress of 1922 at 
Shang-hai, and the subsequent formation of the Church of 
Christ in China, in which the Protestant Churches, founded by 

68 The Lost Churches of China 

he major mission boards of the United States, Canada, and 
3reat Britain, were united. Churches adhering to the Anglican 
Communion and Churches of the Methodist connection felt it 
lecessary to maintain their separate identity, but worked in 
iose co-operation with other denominations in a more inclu- 
sive body, the National Christian Council of China. Unfortu- 
aately, there was not unanimity among all Protestants. A large 
auniber of missionaries were unwilling to accept the leader- 
ship of either of these bodies on the grounds of their more 
liberal theology, with the result that a League of Christian 
Churches was formed, which comprised the more conservative 

This cleavage in the Protestant missionary ranks was almost 
as deep as the gulf between Protestants and Roman Catholics. 
It arose from the ** Fundamentalist 3> conception of faith and 
theology, which gave little heed to the epoch-making contri- 
bution of Luther in the Protestant Reformation. Luther shat- 
tered the Roman Catholic conception of faith. He held that 
mere adherence to a guaranteed doctrine, with the idea that 
holding that doctrine is a meritorious action which God will 
reward, is destitute of regenerative power. In its place Luther 
put a positive, vital, and evangelical faith. Faith meant no 
less than trust in God, who has revealed himself in Jesus 
Christ. Unhappily, this central theme of the Reformation has 
been lost by a large section of the Protestant Church. Many 
Liberals unwittingly allowed their preoccupation with the 
social application of Christianity to obscure this central theme. 
The Conservatives, or " Fundamentalists," having renounced 
the pope and his authority, sought an authoritative and final 
arbiter. Their authority was no longer the infallible Church, 
but the infallible Bible. The Bible was held to be the Word of 
God ? and to some extent this conception of authority of the 
Bible transcended the distinctive message of the Bible, that 
the Word was Jesus Christ who ** was made flesh, and dwelt 
among us/' Heart-searching within the Protestant fellowship 
in more recent years has sought to re-establish the primacy of 

Unwitting Contribution to Communism 169 

Jesus rather than the primacy of the Book as the Word of God. 
Extreme Fundamentalists have been guilty of presenting only 
a partial Christian message by their insistence on the literal 
use of the Bible as the only source of inspiration and doctrine. 
Unfortunately, some have employed quotations that, when 
taken from their context and arranged in a sequence that had 
no relationship to original purpose, seemed to give an authori- 
tative character to a special theological position. Any doctrine 
dependent upon a jigsaw arrangement of Bible verses must 
necessarily be in peril of missing the truth as if a lawyer 
should take excerpts at random from the criminal code, with- 
out regard to context, in order to prove his case. Such a pro- 
cedure is utterly inadmissible in law and equally inadmissible 
in theology. Yet the tragedy remains that a large number of 
Christians have been nurtured in this utterly erroneous con- 
ception of the religion of Jesus. No one could be more sincere 
than these devoted Christians whose fidelity to their Lord 
transcends their error in the use of the Bible. But the issue is 
not one of questioning anyone's sincerity. We are confronted 
today with a tragedy of the first magnitude. Christian mission- 
aries have been thrown out of China again, in spite of all that 
has been done for China by missionaries in the twentieth cen- 
tury! Surely this must be a sobering experience, sufficiently 
sobering to enable this generation to inquire whether we have 
been fully Christian or less than Christian in our approach to 
China and in our message. Conservatives buttress their theo- 
logical position and justify exclusion of all other religious 
teachings, with denunciations of China's religious past, by the 
assertion of Paul, " There is none other name under heaven 
given among men, whereby we must be saved." But all Chris- 
tians believe this. This is not a peculiar tenet of Fundamental- 
ists. The difference between Liberals and Fundamentalists 
here arises over what is meant by <c saved." It must mean saved 
from something from tragedy to triumph, from sin to vic- 
tory, from death to life, from prejudice and littleness to a 
vision of the bigness of the Kingdom of God as envisaged by 

L70 The Lost Churches of China 

Jesus, from our fears that make Jesus as small as ourselves to a 
courage that dares to accept his full message, from idle repeti- 
tions of his name to a possession of his Holy Spirit. Not only 
does the world need to be saved, but the Christians need to be 
saved from an interpretation of Christianity that is less than 
that set forth by Jesus in the Gospels. 

Those who use the Bible as their authority must not ignore 
the missionary message of The Book of Jonah, or the all-inclu- 
siveness of The Book of Amos, who declared that God is the 
God of all peoples. Confucius in his assertion: T'ien hsia shih i 
chia " All under heaven are one family " takes his place 
beside Amos, who declared that God had nurtured and led, 
not only Israel, but also the Ethiopians, Egyptians, Philistines, 
and Syrians. It is this universality of both Amos and Confucius 
that Jesus made real and fulfilled. Those who would claim the 
name of Jesus as the way of salvation must not be content with 
his name only, but accept aH for which he lived and died. 
Until this happens, Christianity cannot hope to win an in- 
digenous place in China. The expression of Christianity that 
has too often been revealed is a purely foreign religion, de- 
manding a renunciation of the former religious heritage. For 
this reason the Fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible has 
failed to win the respect of Chinese intellectuals. 

The Christian Churches of many labels, dependent on West- 
ern mission boards, have been an anachronism. In the result- 
ant obtundity they are lost. Loss has fallen upon the Churches 
when least expected. The popularity of the social application 
of the gospel in hospitals, universities, schools, and humani- 
tarian relief projects was widespread. Liberals among Protes- 
tants took great pride in the growing popularity of the Church. 
The most prominent members of the Nationalist Government 
were Christians. But the lack of unity in the Churches pre- 
sented a paradoxical reflection upon the gospel they preached. 
The religious imperative of our time demands that tie yearn- 
ing of Chinese Christians for unity be matched with a readi- 
ness on the part of Western Christians to forgo their pride in 

Unwitting Contribution to Communism 171 

their own denominational labels. Too small a percentage of 
mission funds and personnel have been made available in the 
past for interdenominational causes. The Western Churches 
through their foreign mission boards have paid lip service to 
ecumenicity and interdenominational endeavor, while the 
larger part of their budgets has been allocated to work that 
would reflect credit to their denominational names. This 
was the easiest way to raise the money. The present upheaval 
affords the Christian Churches of the West a priceless chance 
to rethink their policies in this regard. This is the opportunity 
to abandon forever old denominational rights and prejudices, 
so that when it may be possible to resume missionary work in 
China a new era of Christian unity will be inaugurated. This 
crying sin of Christians must end. It is sin, because as long as 
our piddling prides are cherished, just so long do we deny the 
prayer of Jesus on the night of his betrayal. 

Christianity has vitiated its witness by its lack of unity in its 
multiplicity of societies and denominations. The internal dis- 
sensions between Orders within Roman Catholicism wrought 
havoc in the seventeenth century. The cleavage between Fun- 
damentalists and Liberals in the Protestant missions in the 
twentieth century has been a tragedy. There are not many de- 
nominations willing to admit that they are only a partial ex- 
pression of Christianity. Not all groups who found it popular 
to give a halo to ecumenicity were prepared to implement it 
in the concrete needs of the mission field. The glacial leisure- 
liness with which Christianity has moved to create unity 
within itself cannot be condoned. It has too long been a cause 
of confusion and mockery among non-Christians. Fundamen- 
talists must admit the error of their concentration upon the 
illiterate masses. They have avoided the "scribes and Phari- 
sees." Missionaries who attempt to interpret Jesus must remem- 
ber that he reasoned with the scholars, * both hearing them, 
and asking them questions/* The Fundamentalist position has 
not won the respect of Chinese intellectuals, who have long 
been accorded the first rank in their social order. On the other 

172 The Lost Churches of China 

hand Protestant Liberals have held the good will of Chinese 
intellectuals because of their emphasis on secondary schools 
and colleges. But we are confronted with the tragic fact that 
most of the graduates of Christian schools have entered the 
stream of Chinese life and thought without any profession of 
faith in Jesus Christ. This fact has convinced some Funda- 
mentalists that their approach was the more nearly correct, but 
the inadequacies in both wings of Protestant missions was 
clearly set forth in the Laymens Foreign Missions Inquiry 
(1933). This report did not receive the implementation that 
many of its recommendations deserved. The recent losses to 
Christian missions in China only emphasize its relevance. 

The Communist authorities demand of Christianity more 
rapid advance toward self-support, with a unity beyond any 
degree heretofore attained. The Church is confronted with a 
pressure for organizational unity by the Communist Govern- 
ment, and to achieve this every personal hostility or denomina- 
tional jealousy is fanned to bring the Church into subservi- 
ence to the Bureau of Religious Affairs of the Government. 
But this enforced unity was also employed in both Germany 
and Japan in World War II, and has been employed by all 
totalitarian governments. Only the Church itself can establish 
that spiritual unity which alone can redeem our folly. " The 
yearning of the world for unity can be satisfied only by a 
divine self-revelation/' 15 So long as Christians fail to strive 
toward spiritual unity, they remain unworthy of their Lord. 
Christians need to realize that an attitude of appreciation of 
truth, wherever it may appear, is essentially the Christian atti- 
tude, and the only path that leads to unity and ecumenicity. 

The fourth major blunder of this period is a particular re- 
sponsibility of Christian missions. It is Christendom's greatest 
unwitting contribution to the rise of Communism in China, 
A generation has arisen * which knew not Joseph/* Confucius 
has been supplanted in his own domain. The steady attacks 
from missionaries against the citadel of Confucius resulted 
from a failure to make valid distinctions between the original 

Unwitting Contribution to Communism 17S 

teachings of Confucius and the superstitions and idolatrous 
rites of Confucianism. The overthrow of the Ch'ing dynasty 
with the abdication of the Manchu emperor was followed by 
the enforced adoption of the Sun Yat-sen ritual and the com- 
pulsory teaching of San Min Chu I in all schools under the 
administration of the Nationalist Government. This, in one 
generation, virtually erased Confucius from the modern scene. 
There were missionaries as well as Chinese Christians who 
rejoiced in the eclipse of Confucius in the hope that this held 
greater opportunity for the Christian Church, but the ground 
was lost by Confucian ethics far faster than it was occupied 
by Christianity. The absence of these ancient virtues and disci- 
plines that were inculcated by the Confucian teachings created 
the perilous vacuum into which Communism entered into pos- 
session. Confucius seems to have been aware that the battle 
for human freedom is not a dramatic contest against evil but 
the quiet struggle that goes on within the heart of the indi- 
vidual. This great principle was lost. Modern totalitarianism 
tempts men with pageantry and with final solutions to all 
problems. Democracy offers only a simple human dignity and 
a chance to work unceasingly for human happiness, with no 
reward save the opportunity to go on working. The last battle 
of democracy can never be fought. The world simply cannot 
be made safe for democracy, but in a very real sense democ- 
racy alone gives hope of creating the conditions that can save 
the world. The supreme goal of democracy cannot be a perfect 
state, for it is an illusion to suppose that things will ever reach 
perfection and cease to change. Democracy can hope only to 
produce men and women who are capable of meeting new 
situations effectively. Toward this objective Confucius con- 
tributed much. Like Jesus, he put his trust in men. He trusted 
the human race. History reveals that true and effective democ- 
racy is a political ideal difficult of accomplishment. In seeking 
this goal, the greatest asset that Christians can add is a true 
appreciation of the ethical teachings of Confucius with his 
respect for the Supreme Being and the rights of the individual 

174 The Lost Churches of China 

human personality. In being a party to the overthrow of Con- 
fucius, the Christian Churches have dug the pit into which 
they themselves have fallen. 

The Communists were quick to discern that the Christian 
Churches were a moral force that must be captured if the 
Communists were to succeed. The new regime early turned 
its attention to this matter. At the People's Political Consulta- 
tive Conference in Pe-king, September, 1949, which consti- 
tuted the People's Republic of China, five of the delegates 
were styled "representatives of the Protestant Christian 
Churches," No organization of the Churches was given any 
opportunity of electing these or any other delegates. The 
" delegates " were selected by the Communist authorities who 
designated them as the "representatives of the Churches." 
Their selection was hailed by enthusiasts as evidence of Com- 
munist respect for, and good will toward, the Protestant 
Churches. "Religious freedom is written into the new con- 
stitution." 16 

In less than eighteen months after Dr. Frank Price wrote his 
encouraging report, published in The Church, the official organ 
of the General Assembly of the Church of Christ in China 
(Shang-hai, 1949), he was accused of espionage and arrested 
by the Communist authorities under the charge of attempting 
to undermine China's "National" Christian Movement. Simi- 
larly other missionaries who elected to remain in China as long 
as possible soon found their freedom of movement severely 
restricted. Gradually limited numbers obtained exit permits. 
With rare exceptions, no one has been permitted to return. 
There were, however, among Protestant missionaries those who 
felt that the Communist Government would ultimately accord 
the Christian Church an opportunity. Other missionaries, 
faced with the alternative of expressing sympathy and good 
will toward the new regime or abandoning their work, un- 
wisely made statements that are not fully supported by sub- 
sequent events. Illustrative of such unwarranted optimism is 
this report: 

Unwitting Contribution to Communism 175 

* Many efforts have been made by the new Government to meet- 
these demands, and one of the published statements grants free- 
dom of religion throughout the land. At the beginning of their 
regime they opposed the Church and many congregations in North 
China were disbanded, but as they gained control and realized 
their responsibility they greatly moderated their attitude and today 
the Christian Church is comparatively free to carry on its work. 
The Church of Christ in China has some strong leaders to whom 
the new Government was forced to listen if they hoped to maintain 
their position and win the confidence of the people." 17 

This statement is simply too optimistic and contradicted by 
subsequent developments. There has been nothing in the rela- 
tions between the Christian Churches and the Communist 
Government of China to indicate that the new Government 
had been " forced to listen " to strong leaders of the Church. 
But there has been much to indicate in a most ominous way 
that the Communists, from the outset of their rise to power, 
required the leaders of the Churches to listen to the Govern- 
ment, and to heed its views expressed through these leaders of 
the Church, whom the Communist authorities designated to 
represent the Church. In October, 1949, a group of nineteen 
prominent Christians, whose offices were in the Shang-hai- 
Nan-king area, met and issued "The Message from Chinese 
Christians to Mission Boards Abroad." This was first published 
in Shang-hai in December, 1949. It was published in full in 
The Christian Century, March 29, 1950. The opening section 
of this " Message " shows an enthusiasm for the new Govern- 
ment of China that is almost ecstatic: 

" Out of this will be born a new China, radically different from 
the China of old. Compared with the present moment, the changes 
of dynasties in the past 4,000 years have little significance; die 
revolutions of 1911, of 1927, and the War of Resistance are but 
wavelets in the rapids of time. From such a change there is no 
turning, and at such time die-hardness has no place. 

" A new chapter in the history of China has begun; a new era has 
dawned. A new * People's Government * has been born under the 
leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, with the co-operation 
of all the revolutionary elements in the country, and with the 
avowed common purpose of putting into execution the political, 
social, and economic principles of the New Democracy." 18 

176 The Lost Churches of China 

One does not often find this word " die-hardness." It is so 
"unusual that its use causes the mind to roam in the quest of 
where it has been used before. It is an attempt to translate a 
difficult Chinese expression into an English counterpart. It is 
the same word used to translate one of Mao Tse-tung's terms 
in the ninth chapter of his book New Democracy, which is 
entitled " Die-hardism Refuted": 19 

" The whole world today looks to Communism for salvation and 
China looks upon Communism as a saviour. . . . Whoever chooses 
to oppose Communism must be prepared to be mauled and torn to 
pieces by the people. If you have not yet made up your mind about 
being mauled and smashed to smithereens, it would be wise of you 
not to oppose Communism. Let the anti-Communist heroes accept 
this piece of sincere advice from me, therefore/* 20 

No one in China could afford to ignore Mao's warning. 

In the common program adopted unanimously by the Peo- 
ple's Political Consultative Conference in 1949, are the follow- 
ing statements, which show very plainly the ideological foun- 
dation of the new Government: 

"The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference agrees 
that the * New Democracy * shall be the political foundation of the 
People's Republic of China. The People's Republic of China is a 
State of New Democracy. This Republic carries out the People's 
Democratic Dictatorship/* 21 

The People's Democratic Dictatorship is outlined in an ad- 
dress by Mao Tse-tung. This is Chinese Communism: 

" The Communist party of the U.S.S.R. is our best teacher from 
whom we must learn. The international and domestic situation is 
favorable to us. ... The forty years of Sun Yat-sen's revolution- 
ary work were a failure. . . . Our twenty-eight years are entirely 
different. We have plenty of invaluable experiences and the follow- 
ing are our three main experiences: a party armed with discipline, 
armed with the theories of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin, em- 
ploying the methods of self-criticism, and linked up closely with 
the masses; an army led by such a party; a united front of revolu- 
tionary strata and groups led by such a party/* 22 

The Churches that support this movement are merely in- 
cluded in the ** revolutionary strata and groups led by such a 
party/* The representatives of the Protestant Churches chosen 

Unwitting Contribution to Communism 177 

by the Communists to be among the " religious personages " 
to sit on the People's Political Consultative Conference acted 
as liaison personnel between the Government and the 
Churches. But not one of these was a Church representative; 
they were all in institutional work in which the Church of 
Christ in China was deeply interested, but they were never 
elected to this office with the new Government by any Church 
body. Their right as citizens to accept responsibility in their 
own Government Is beyond question, but whether they can 
truly be called delegates of the Christian Churches is doubt- 
ful. However, these five " delegates " not only began to speak 
within the councils of the Government (one was elected to the 
Communist Presidium) on behalf of the Church, but soon 
addressed themselves to the Church on behalf of the Govern- 
ment. Whether willingly or unwittingly, they have served as 
an effective Communist fifth column within the Church itself. 
This has sharpened the crisis. Not in all history have there 
been such divergence of thought, such sharp differences in 
earnest convictions, both among missionaries and Chinese 
Christians, as have resulted from the rise of Communism in 
China. Several thousand missionaries have withdrawn, many 
through the inability to carry on their work, but a significant 
number from the conviction that no useful purpose could be 
served by their remaining longer. As early as 1947, missionaries 
were deciding to withdraw because of inability to reconcile 
their personal convictions with the impending shadow, such as: 

"But^the day of indecision is over, for me. 'There is death in 
the pot/ If the Communists win in North China it will be a dis- 
astrous defeat for everything you and I can hope for this country. 
Its consequences may eventually be disastrous for our own country 
as well. Communist control here can only mean a vast expansion 
of the darkness and gloom already enshrouding so much of our 
world. A struggle between darkness and light is on, and we are 
near the heart of one of the hottest spots in that struggle. Not that 
it is a clean-cut choice between black and white far from it. In 
many respects it is a difficult selection between two shades of gray. 
But the choice is before us, the option is a forced one, and the 
issue is determinative/' 2S 

178 The Lost Churches of China 

That this clear foresight of Dr. Earl H. Ballou, of Pe-king, 
was not shared by all missionaries is apparent from many pub- 
lished views of missionaries. 24 

Twenty years ago Moukden Medical College had a visit 
from Principal D. S. Cairns, of Scotland, who then observed: 
** The Christian Church in China is too closely associated with 
the Kuomintang. One day it may pay dearly for this." 

" It is now very clear that the Christian movement is indeed pay- 
ing very dearly for its political associations. It has certainly lost 'a 
great deal by being tied to the Nan-king regime. Perhaps in this 
association it lost some of its vision. Now it must work under a 
heavy cloud of suspicion for years. If the educated leaders of 
the Church are to go hand in glove with the new political pro- 
gramme without a very clear statement of the very different motive 
which activated them, the day may come, as it has come to this 
generation, when again a heavy price will have to be paid for the 
present possible poEtical association/' 25 

It is important to remember that those missionaries who 
elected to remain in China under the Communist regime or 
who sought opportunities of continuing missionary work 
under the new administration were not thereby expressing 
their approbation of the new authority or its ideology. They 
simply acknowledged the respect due the new Government. 
Although there have been missionary enthusiasts who have 
waxed eloquent in extravagant adulations of the " Liberation 
of Christianity' 7 by the Communists, 26 these did not represent 
the majority. Any missionary movement must be expected to 
have within its ranks those who make extravagant claims. This 
human tendency was an embarrassment to the Jesuits in the 
seventeenth century. It has repeatedly been an embarrassment 
to Protestants in the twentieth century. This tendency on the 
part of some missionaries to champion one or another political 
party in China, or to pick " the winning horse/' suggests that 
something is wrong in their emphasis or primary conception 
of their task The missionary should not be the protagonist or 
the antagonist of the Government of the country to which he 
is sent Surely it is sufficient that he observe the admonition 

Unwitting Contribution to Communism 179 

of Him in whose name he has gone forth (Matt 22:21). All 
honor is due, therefore, to those missionaries who remained as 
long as possible in China, in spite of difficulty and peril, ren- 
dering the honor properly due the new authority, but claiming 
for God the things that are God's. That the Churches of China 
included both missionaries and Chinese leaders, Protestant and 
Roman Catholic, who made this valid differentiation is estab- 
lished beyond doubt, and to their everlasting credit. 27 Un- 
happily, however, some who were in positions of great trust 
seem to have acted primarily in the interests of the Communist 
regime, or to have deemed it expedient to find a compromise 
acceptable to the Communists, covering the Church with shame 
and confusion. 28 Their closest friends cannot understand how 
they could have subscribed to some statements attributed to 
them, except under duress. This action has made the position 
of many Christians untenable, yet the tragedy calls for the 
sympathetic compassion of fellow Christians. It is difficult and 
almost impossible for those on the outside to realize the full 
extent of the threats and ultimatums that made certain Chris- 
tian leaders feel that they had no alternative but to give lip 
service to the Communist Government. Examination of the 
nineteen names signed to the " Message " of October, 1949, 
reveals that so many changes had occurred before the " Mes- 
sage " was published in America that the changes become the 
most eloquent commentary on it. Of those holding the title of 
" general secretary " in national organizations of the Churches, 
three had resigned before " The Message from Chinese Chris- 
tians to Mission Boards Abroad " was published in America. 
These were the general secretaries of the National Christian 
Council, the Christian Literature Society, and the National 
Committee of the Y. W. C. A. Why did these three very promi- 
nent Christians resign their offices? Very soon after the estab- 
lishment of the Communist regime all organizations, including 
Christian organizations, universities, schools, hospitals, etc., 
had to be reorganized in the method of ** New Democracy." 
This method provided that servants, workmen, messengers, 

180 The Lost Churches of China 

gatemen, etc., must be represented on the executive committee 
of the organizations that employed them. Many of this group 
are uneducated and non-Christian. Moreover, every one of this 
group belongs to the newly organized " Union of Workers in 
Christian Institutions." This Union is a full member of the 
newly organized General Workers' Union, which sets the poli- 
cies and dictates to the general secretaries and other responsi- 
ble executives. Thus it became impossible for these general 
secretaries to continue in their office. Their resignations made 
possible the appointment of persons more sympathetic to the 
new regime. For illustration, Miss Cora Teng was immediately 
elected the new general secretary of the National Committee of 
the Y. W. C. A. Cora Teng was one of the five Christians se- 
lected by the Communist Party to represent the Churches on 
the People's Political Consultative Conference. Under her 
chairmanship there was held at Shang-iai, March 1-10, 1950, 
an enlarged executive meeting of the National Committee of 
the Y. W. C. A. to draw up a statement of their new general 
policy. This statement was published in Chinese papers and 
expresses the conviction that it is the duty of the Y. W. C. A. 
to echo the voice of their great leader Mao Tse-tung. 29 

A small group composed from Y. M. C. A, and Y. W. C. A. and 
Christian schools and universities with a few Church leaders, 
who regarded themselves as progressive Liberals, threw them- 
selves enthusiastically behind the new regime, believing that 
they could make a contribution as Christians. 30 On May 4, 
1950, there was published in Tien Feng (Christian Weekly) 
a manifesto by a group of religious leaders, including tie 
"religious personages" who were members of the People's 
Political Consultative Conference, inviting all otters of reli- 
gious faith to Join them as signers. This was published in Pe- 
king on May 29, 1950, and in Shang-hai in Kung Pao on the 
front cover of the June issue as "China's Great Call to 
Peace." 31 Its denunciations of America and its admiration of 
Soviet Russia are appalling. In May, 1950, a team of Chris- 
tian leaders, sponsored by the National Christian Council, 

Unwitting Contribution to Communism 181 

the Y. M. C. A., and five other interested organizations, met 
in Pe-king with the prime minister, Mr. Chou En-lai, hoping 
to obtain from him a promise to remedy many grievances, such 
as confiscation of Bibles from churches, occupation of church 
property by Communist forces, restriction of liberty of Chris- 
tian preachers, restriction of travel of missionaries. The prime 
minister had invited the team to a series of conferences with 
leading officials of the Communist Government to discuss all 
issues concerning Christianity in China. The prime minister 
did not promise to right one of the wrongs submitted to him, 
but took the position that the Christian Church itself was alone 
to blame, and that all would be well when the Church did the 
Government's bidding and became an effective instrument of 
the Government, as fully as, according to the Government, it 
had been the tool of Western imperialism. Following this meet- 
ing, the policy that the Government expected the Church to 
follow was set forth at a conference of Church leaders in Shang- 
hai, in a document drawn up by the group who had met with 
the prime minister. The Christian leaders present were advised 
that this was the attitude the Church must adopt, and all 
present were urged to sign it. To the astonishment of many, 
this document had already been submitted to the Communist 
Government for prior approval before it was presented for the 
consideration of the Christian leaders and for their signature. 
There were diverse opinions and many attempts made between 
June 3 and July 15 to secure agreement. The bishops of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church of China objected and withdrew 
from any joint statement by Protestants, and drafted their own 
pastoral letter. The general statement was first published in 
August with over forty signatures of known Christian leaders. 32 
By the end of August some 1,500 signatures were added, and 
the manifesto received much prominence in the Chinese press. 
But the pastoral letter of the Chinese Episcopal bishops re- 
mains as being essentially Christian and unequivocal in its 
witness. No missionaries were involved in these deliberations. 
The document issued by the larger body of Protestant Chris- 

182 The Lost Churches of China 

tian leaders made a veritable shambles of the faith. It was not 
published in English but only in the Chinese press. Little did 
the Western Church dream of the perfidy that was being per- 
petrated by the indescribable pressures from the Communist 
authorities. At the very time that this was happening in China, 
the final decisions were being made by mission boards to with- 
draw missionaries from China. Expressions of trust and con- 
fidence in the leaders of the Chinese Church were made by 
Western Churches through their mission boards. 33 

In April, 1951, the Communist Government called to Pe- 
king delegates of all Christian bodies that had been receiving 
financial grants and subsidies from American Churches. There 
they were addressed by several leaders of the Communist ad- 
ministration for two days, April 17 and 18. On April 24, 1951 
the Ta Rung Pao of Hong-kong carried a telegram from the 
"New China News Agency/' Pe-Mng, dated April 22: 

" Every delegate in the whole body of the Christian Conference 
accuses agents of imperialistic crimes. Severely blame Frank Price 
and others for being tools of American imperialistic aggression. 
Unanimously beg the People's Government to give severe punish- 
ment" 34 

Rev. Frank Price, a Presbyterian missionary, had been ar- 
rested just before this conference was held. It was his closest 
colleagues who sought to placate the Communist authorities 
by attacking this noted American missionary. The report in 
the Chinese press on April 24 was soon followed by an offi- 
cial statement issued at the conclusion of the conference on 
April 21 and published in Hong-kong on April 27. 35 On May 
8, 1951, the Tien Feng published the full accusations against 
Dr. Price and those Chinese Christian leaders who had not con- 
formed. 36 The attacks of leading Chinese Christians against 
their own colleagues at the Pe-king Conference bear all the 
marks of having been * inspired * by pressure and demands 
from the Communist authorities. This certainly was not fore- 
seen. During the early months of the Communist regime a 
branch office of the Church of Christ in China was maintained 

Unwitting Contribution to Communism 183 

at Hong-kong to serve as liaison with the Western Churches. 
A bulletin, The Church, was published in English every few 
months with information regarding conditions in China. Just a 
year earlier the situation had seemed hopeful: 

"As is well known, religious liberty has been definitely pro- 
claimed as part of the new order, and there seems to be a sincere 
attempt on the part of the authorities to implement that principle 
and to stand behind it where it has been transgressed by minor 
officials." S7 

The sorry spectacle of the general secretary of the Church of 
Christ in China, which had published these expressions of 
confidence, later standing before the conference of Christian 
leaders in Pe-king and denouncing his missionary colleague on 
his own staff, is a tragic commentary on the state of affairs in 
the Churches of China in 1951. 38 

Tragedies were not confined to the Protestant Churches. 
Similar attempts were made to promote an independent move- 
ment among Roman Catholics. A Chinese Communist official 
news dispatch from Chung-king, reported by Reuters from 
Hong-kong on January 6, 1951, told how the acting bishop of 
the Catholic diocese of Chung-king headed a list of 695 Chi- 
nese Catholic priests and lay leaders who signed a manifesto 
supporting "the new reform movement in Chinese religious 
circles." The news dispatch said that the manifesto urged Chi- 
nese Catholics to " sever relations with the imperialists " and 
carry out a program aimed at independence, self-support, and 
propagation of the faith by Chinese instead of foreign mis- 
sionaries. Subsequently it was disclosed that extreme pressure 
had been used and that the name of the Catholic priest, who 
was acting bishop, had been used to head this list without his 
consent. In June, 1951, a news dispatch from Szechwan Prov- 
ince reported: 

" Father Wang Liang-tso, an obscure parish priest in Szechwan 
Province, skyrocketed to fame last December on a Chinese Com- 
munist propaganda campaign. The Red Press published a mani- 
festo signed by 500 Catholics, proclaiming their support of the 

184 The Lost Churches of China 

Communist * independent church ' movement. Father Wang's name 
led all the rest. Today it was reported Father Wang had been ex- 
ecuted for protesting the "unauthorized use of his name on the 
manifesto." 39 

Thus a caution must be held against unjust condemnation 
of those Chinese Christians whose names are appended to cer- 
tain incredible documents that have been published in the Chi- 
nese press. On June 3, 1951, the Associated Press reported: 

" Communist pressure on Chinese Christians reached new inten- 
sity today with demands that churches * completely sever * all rela- 
tions with American and European Catholic missionaries inside Red 
China. Furthermore, a Peiping broadcast said that the followers of 
Christianity were specifically ordered to: Take an active part in the 
campaign against America; support the Red Peiping government's 
policies of land * reform '; suppress * counter revolutionaries * the 
Red label for all guerrillas and sympathizers with China's former 
Nationalist Government." 40 

On July 16, 1951, the Pe-king radio announced that 

"the Salvation Army had been banned in Tien-tsin, Northern 
China, on the ground that it was a reactionary organization directed 
by imperialists. The Tien-tsin military control commission reported 
the Salvation Army was one of the international counter-revolu- 
tionary organizations set up by imperialists to carry out terrorist 
activities in Red lands. The radio said that the local Salvation Army 
deceived the masses, spread counter-revolutionary rumors in the 
course of preaching Christianity, distributed reactionary propa- 
ganda, disrupted the campaign to oppose the United States and 
aid Korea, and prevented Chinese Catholics from taking part in 
their reform drive." 41 

The efforts of the Communist Government to control the 
Roman Catholic Church resulted in the forcible closing in 
June, 1951, of the Catholic Central Bureau in Shang-nai, and 
the arrest of Catholic missionaries, with the padlocking of 
Catholic churches in Pe-Mng, in August, 1951. The execution 
of Father Wang Liang-tso in Szechwan was undoubtedly part 
of a design to intimidate other Christians. A Roman Catholic 
missionary writes: 

"It's not so hard to write a success story tolerably well, but it 
is another matter to write a downright failure successfully. The 

Unwitting Contribution to Communism 185 

glowing success of this story, however, lies in the fact that Christ 
foresaw and foretold in minute detail just such a failure. 

" It's all written in the book for us. It is the failure of the grain 
of wheat which must go underground and rot to increase its kind 
a hundredfold. It is the failure of Good Friday, mankind's greatest 

" So if we can take this inactivity now I would say that we are 
successful missionaries. Even St. Paul's hardest hours were not 
those of his weary travels, shipwrecks included, but rather his re- 
straint under bonds/* 42 

A realistic report tells what actually happened in the class- 
rooms of Christian schools: 

"The teaching of materialism had become obligatory for all 
schools. We too are forced to allow the teachers to proclaim from 
their rostrums that there is no God, that man has no soul, and that 
the afterlife is only a myth foisted on mankind. These doctrines are 
propounded to the teachers of primary and middle schools in spe- 
cial training classes conducted for them. The determinative presen- 
tation and forced allegiance to these doctrines is the antithesis of 
scientific inquiry. No room is left for the freedom and dignity of 
the student's conscience." 43 

In the early months of the Communist victory, permission 
was granted by the authorities for the holding of the Church 
of Christ Synod at Tsing-tao in Shan-tung Province. This was 
the first time this synod had been able to get a full attendance 
of its eighty representatives in eleven years, because of the 
long war with Japan. The local Government sent their repre- 
sentative to open the conference. He spoke for two hours. He 
told the conference that Christianity was on its "last legs," 
but they were free to carry on, if they wished, until they knew 
better. But it was not long before prominent Chinese Chris- 
tians were finding that their support of the Government had 
placed them in very embarrassing positions. On Sunday, June 
17, 1951, the Methodist bishop who baptized Chiang Kai-shek 
in 1929, Bishop Kiang Chang-chuan, announced in Shang-hai 
that he had made a " grave mistake " in so doing, and the 
Methodist Church of Shang-hai proceeded to purge its mem- 
bership roll of the names of Chiang Kai-shek and his wife! 

On July 28, 1951, The New York Times published the decree 

186 The Lost Churches of China 

of the Pe-king Government that all American and American- 
supported missionary activity in China must close. **A final 
blow has fallen upon American missionary activity in China/' 44 
That the Churches of China are " lost " in this hour is beyond 
doubt. One or other of the four definitions of "lost" used in 
this volume is applicable to most of the Churches of China. 
Their lostness must weigh upon the hearts and prayers of all 
Christendom. Only a new and deeper humility, which will en- 
able us to accept the discipline of this chastening hour, can 
give to the Christian Churches of the West the grace to redis- 
cover the Way we have lost. Then we shall discern that the 
present crisis has a divine function to perform. It can serve 
to cleanse the Church from many activities and attitudes that 
have been inconsistent with its primary purpose and that have 
unwittingly contributed to the rise of Communism. In this 
period of heart-searching, both in China and abroad, the very 
** lostness w that stirs the mind can become the most fruitful 
experience in the history of Christianity. To those who are 
humbly and painfully aware that the Churches of China have 
lost the Way in this crucial hour, there is no sense of finality, 
such as the ** final blow '* mentioned in The New York Times. 
Without doubt it is a " final blow * as far as the intent of the 
Communists has been declared. But the history of China, if 
it tells anything at all, is full of inflexible, inexorable, unalter- 
able decrees, which last only during the tenure of the Govern- 
ment that issued them. The Chinese people have again and 
again risen to overthrow the tyranny of whatever Government 
affronted their innate sense of human rights and respect for 
human personality. The full story of the agony and travail of 
the present hour has not been and cannot be told, even now by 
those who know. In the past year each day has brought its 
news of difficulties and tragedy for Christians in China, such 
as "five Canadian Roman Catholic nuns, who have devoted 
their lives to caring for Chinese orphans, are under arrest 
awaiting trial by Communist authorities in Can-ton/' 45 
A few days later a Catholic bishop and four priests reached 

Unwitting Contribution to Communism 187 

Hong-kong after three years in a Manchuria Communist 
prison. With them were two nuns, until recently imprisoned 
in Shan-tung Province. Their story is told with caution be- 
cause " others are still imprisoned." The nuns would not dis- 
cuss their imprisonment because other nuns were still in jail in 
Shan-tung. 46 

** History *s chapters are apt to end while nobody is looking but 
today, in China, everybody can see a page turning. Every afternoon 
in the week over the little railroad bridge that spans the river at 
Lowu, on the border of Hong-kong, the Christian missionaries come 
plodding out of Communist China. Sometimes only one or two at 
a time, sometimes in groups as large as 40 or more, fagged and 
haggard from their long trek out of the interior, women as well as 
men, Protestants and Catholics, French, Belgians, Germans, Ital- 
ians, and Americans. 

** For a while the Christian Churches were hopeful that they 
could carry on in China. The incoming Communists said they were 
all for freedom of religion. Then the climate of tolerance changed: 
church property was confiscated, more and more missionaries were 
* tried * for espionage. The Communists had dropped their pretense 
of tolerance; they were out to shut down every Christian Church in 
China." 4r 

Into this holy companionship both Protestants and Roman 
Catholics have entered. In both branches of the Christian 
Church the martyrs to the faith are found. The heroic dead 
will ever speak to the living. It is in the hour of suffering that 
Christians of all communions have entered into a close unity 
and fellowship, "and others were tortured, not accepting 
deliverance" (Heb. 11:35). In May, 1952, there were 193 
American missionaries 153 Roman Catholic and 40 Protes- 
tantheld in Communist China. All of them were reported 
under various restrictions, charges, and punishments, includ- 
ing 32 in prison. 48 

"Vatican reports reveal 23 archbishops and bishops with 
300 priests, lay brothers, and nuns, mostly foreigners, in jail 
on Dec. 31, 1951. German-born Archbishop Cyril Jarre, 74, of 
Tsi-nan, died in April, 1952, after nine months* imprisonment. 
More than 1,200 missionaries had been expelled, including 12 
prelates, 530 priests, 40 lay brothers, and 650 nuns." 49 

188 The Lost Churches of China 

The Christian faith rests squarely on man's experience of 
God (John 14:23). In Christianity, God is never far away, but 
always in every experience the God of history is there, whether 
we know it or not. Those who ignore him can do so only at 
their peril. 50 It will be a tragedy if Christians seek comfort 
from the idea that our losses in China arise from the Com- 
munists who have ruined our work. Communism is a social phi- 
losophy in which society is organized into passionate action to 
bring about the millennium without God. Christians must face 
the bald fact that there has been something woefully inadequate 
in our interpretation of God, that left China with such a reli- 
gious vacuum that Communism could enter like a rushing wind. 
Missions may have cast out the ** unclean spirit," but in failing to 
give China something better than it had before, have we not 
created a situation in which the last state is worse than the 
first? (Matt. 12:43-45.) This has been the unwitting contribu- 
tion of Christendom to the rise of Communism. Five times in 
thirteen hundred years Christians have been ejected. Is God 
speaking to us? The hope of the future lies in an overwhelming 
sense of our having lost the Way. This very experience of being 
lost has a divine function to perform. If history has any lesson 
at all to give us, it is that to the Churches that penitently seek 
him God will restore ** the years that the locust hath eaten ** 
(Joel 2:25). 



THE Church that fails to heed 
the warning of the lost 

Churches of China will itself meet a similar fate in time. Chris- 
tians must not treat the present crisis as merely the work of evil 
forces. This tumultuous upheaval of China's millions is the 
struggle of the human spirit for a more abundant life. The 
tragedy of the lost Churches of China is much greater than is 
yet realized. The widespread judgment of condemnation upon 
Communism has within it the danger of explaining the reasons 
for losses as due solely to the rise of Communism. If this view 
should prevail, Christendom will be deprived of the chastening 
lessons which this hour holds. Communism in China is but a 
temporary phase of a resurgent nationalism. Those who advo- 
cate aggressive military action to overthrow the Communist 
regime in China seem to imagine that when this has been ac- 
complished they will be able to return as before to their mis- 
sionary tasks. These minds fail to discern that if it were not 
Communism, it would have been some other expression of 
Chinese nationalism that would have met the demand for the 
recovery of their national honor and sovereignty. The Chinese 
Church became lost because it was so largely dependent upon 
the Western Church which first lost its way. It is the Western 
Churches that first developed such concern for externals that 
they have made it difficult, if not impossible, for Christianity 
to live. The damaging indictment of Christianity in China 
across thirteen centuries is that it repeatedly employed political 
forces to gain its ends. Christianity must take its stand that 
the Kingdom of God cannot be bound within the limits of 
any particular social institution, nor can it belong exclusively 

190 The Lost Churches of China 

to any political system, for it lias a higher calling to which it 
must adhere. It can and does, however, inspire the men and 
women who in their respective civic capacities take sides in 
the economic and political arenas. Through the lives that are 
influenced by the Church, the spirit of Christianity makes its 
effective impact upon the world. Christianity must be more 
than content with this leavening process; it must believe in its 

Is it fair to criticize Christian schools and universities in 
China for not producing a majority of Christians among then- 
graduates when no one in America, Canada, or Britain any 
longer expects the universities founded by the Churches to 
produce a majority of Christians among their graduates? If 
our universities in the West do not conceive it to be their 
function to produce Christians, why should it be expected of 
universities founded by the West in the Orient? Chinese 
students have been coming to the West in great numbers dur- 
ing the twentieth century to study in our universities. Most of 
these students were not Christians. How many of them became 
Christians while in our Western universities? The influence of 
these students on their return to China has been far greater 
than that of missionaries. Has our liberalism been too Hberal? 
Such liberal scholars as John Dewey and Bertrand Russell 
lectured in China's national universities and were idealized 
by young China as the Western paragons of the new age. Their 
philosophy swayed Chinese students in the agnostic move- 
ment. How many Chinese students in America imbibed deeply 
of a materialistic philosophy, like Hu Shih? Is his agnosticism 
solely a product of his Chinese heritage, or did his education 
in America contribute to his convictions? Hu Shih has sug- 
gested that the highest form of religion for man is to " live for 
the sake of the species and for posterity," but he holds that 
there is no need for the concept of a supernatural ruler or 
creator. 1 

The present crisis has been widely interpreted as an eco- 
nomic one, in which the advocates of Marxian materialism 

Conclusion 191 

have triumphed, but the real crisis in China goes far deeper 
than economics or politics. It is essentially a religious crisis. 
Its roots are profoundly theological, for theology is concerned 
with the study o God, and Communism denies the existence 
of God. Never before has the missionary movement faced 
such difficulties as are involved in the rise of Communism. 
The sudden closing of the largest missionary field in the world, 
with the expulsion of missionaries, is a sobering experience. 

" The Communist influence in another sense is a closed system. 
It has, it is convinced, a complete answer to all the problems. It 
needs NOTHING. It will not accept guidance easily. And the eco- 
nomic mess which it has inherited from the Kuomintang does not 
make it doubtful about its own methods. There is no room in its 
system for a spiritual interpretation. There is no room for God. 
There is no room for individuality, no room for criticism. There is 
no real freedom for individuals in speech; there is no freedom of 
press, no freedom of assembly. There is rigid control of the means 
of propaganda and of the information provided to the common 
man. Ultimately it is a completely sterilizing influence. What is to 
happen when it goes morally bankrupt, as is inevitable if its sources 
are entirely human? " 2 

Christians must prepare now for that day. Christianity in 
China has been too busily engaged doing God's work in the 
ways the Church has thought best, trying to hurry the kind 
of Kingdom that Jesus did not advocate. Too many have been 
impatient in wanting to see the Kingdom of God established 
as a corporate entity of social righteousness, here and now. 
In its stead we witness the dialectic materialism of Karl Marx, 
with its repudiation of religion and denial of God, rising to the 
place of dominance in China. The greatest upheaval since the 
French Revolution is being enacted with scenes of tragedy 
and mob verdicts preceding the execution of prisoners. Such 
procedures make a mockery of justice, yet it is utterly lack- 
ing in realism to dismiss the present crisis as a result of purely 
Communist intrigue. 

The spectacle Christians present in standing on the riin of 
the world, wringing their hands at the China scene and blam- 
ing it all on the modern scapegoat of Communism, is far from 

192 The Lost Churches of China 

reassuring. The remedy can only be found in acknowledg- 
ing our own responsibility and admitting our own mistakes. 
In this process the Church must recapture the consciousness 
of being the voice of the living God and demand of men that 
they return to the truths of God. Communism has perverted 
the terms long used in democratic processes and has employed 
them with diabolical cunning. Under the banner of " Libera- 
tion " the Communist armies marched to victory. The people 
were constantly called to express gratitude for their * Libera- 
tion/* even though it enslaved them. ** Co-operation " was the 
term used to denote compliance and capitulation. The staff 
of a school or hospital were " co-operative " when they had 
capitulated, Landowners were ** co-operative " when they sur- 
rendered. In a similar way ** democracy " had been twisted. 
Committee action was hailed as "democratic," although the 
group being acted for, or upon, have had no choice in elect- 
ing the committee. For these reasons the Church must reaffirm 
its own position. Christianity is concerned, or should he con- 
cerned, with people rather than with systems. It is " the King- 
dom of God which is not in time . . . but in a different spirit- 
ual dimension . . . just by virtue of this difference is able to 
penetrate our mundane life and transfigure it" 3 The new earth 
is to be the old earth with a changed spirit Christianity is 
essentially a historical religion. It is both a vigorous appeal to 
history as well as a witness of faith of certain particular 
events. 4 

The Church may for a period win popular favor by sup- 
porting the revolutionary theories of Communism, as some 
have attempted to do recently in China, but in so doing it 
vitiates Christianity's claims, which are in themselves revolu- 
tionary in that Christ claims sovereignty over the souls of 
men. In contrast, Communism is the kingdom of this world 
and holds that man's destiny is a this-worldly affair, capable 
of being completed within die process of human history and 
achievable by purely human powers. It is at this level that the 
real nature of the Marxist challenge to Christianity is disclosed. 

Conclusion 193 

This is the belief that the Christian must regard as blasphe- 

Communist officials have made it clear to Chinese Chris- 
tians that they have nothing against the Christian Church, 
provided that the Church ceases to proclaim that Jesus Christ 
is the Son of God. They welcome all Christian leaders who 
are willing to abandon the term " ordained minister of the 
Word of God " and accept the Communist modification * teacher 
of the Christian Church." Those Christians whose moorings 
are adrift, whose faith is not Christ-centered, or who feel 
it expedient to compromise, are thus persuaded to support the 
new regime. The Communists have attempted to " scoop " the 
Christian Churches behind their movement to establish Utopia, 
here and now. They offer heaven without any hell. It is an 
attempt to steal the Christian Church away from its Christ 
and the living God. " The Christian must distinguish between 
the social revolution which seeks justice and the totalitarian 
ideology with its militant atheism which perverts it/* 5 

The Churches of China, both Protestant and Roman Cath- 
olic, must be recognized as again lost, lost in the sense that 
they have been suppressed, closed, or destroyed, or so " con- 
trolled " that many of their chosen leaders have lost the signifi- 
cance of the term ** Christian " or have lost their freedom of 
action to speak as Christians. 6 In the manifesto <f China's Great 
Call to Peace " the Chinese Christians who signed this docu- 
ment described themselves as representing those who have 
religious faith and faith in humanity. There is no reference to 
faith in God. The statement had been submitted to the Com- 
munist authorities for approval before publication in the Chi- 
nese press. 7 

** One of the most fundamental of the differences between 
people must be the question whether they believe in God or 
not; for on tfiat depends their whole interpretation of the uni- 
verse and of history.' 7 8 The sooner the Church makes it clear 
to the world that it adores and obeys its Lord and will not 
hawk him to the highest bidder, the sooner Christianity will 

194 The Lost Churches of China 

exert its influence in fulfilling Origen's assertion: a The Chris- 
tians are they which hold the world together." The conflict in 
China is no longer between Christianity and the non-Christian 
religions. It is one in which the issue is whether there is to be 
any religion at all. Communism is the kingdom of this world, 
which demands that men fall down and worship it and have no 
other gods before it. Christianity must remember that " religion 
is sound and true to its nature only as long as it has no aim or 
purpose except the worship of God." 9 Communism claims the 
loyalties that God has demanded of men. Regardless of whether 
these loyalties, which have been accepted for ages as belong- 
ing to the Eternal, arise from the Ten Commandments of Moses 
or from the ethical teachings of Confucius or from the great 
and first commandment of Jesus or from man's own sense of 
dependence upon the Unseen, Communism tolerates no loyalty 
to any God that transcends the Communist State. Thus Com- 
munism must be deemed to be a religion. It is the religion of 
this world, with which Christianity must forever be in conflict. 
Communism as a faith and system of thought confronts the 
world with a compound of half-truths and positive error. The 
half-truths are appealing. The errors arise in a large part from 
the failure of Christians to be true to the revolutionary nature 
of their own faith. Modern revolutionary China was really 
born out of the Christian impact upon Chinese life and 
thought. It is idle talk that seeks to lay all the blame for the 
present crisis upon Soviet Russia. The first wave of this rev- 
olutionary century began in the Tai~p*ing rebellion (1850- 
1864); the second wave was the destructive Boxer uprising 
(1900); the third wave overthrew the empire and set up the 
Republic (1911); the present tidal wave derives its momentum 
from a hundred years* awakening. The word "Communist' 7 
was not current before the Bolshevik revolution of 1922. It 
was not Russia that plowed the fields of China for more than 
a hundred years. Christian missionaries came to China from 
almost every country except Russia. Russia has merely capital- 
ized the present crisis to its distinct advantage. 

Conclusion 195 

In this present crisis some outstanding Chinese Christians 
have placed the Church in great bewilderment. 10 One cannot 
escape from the thought that sincere and consecrated Chris- 
tians have been either coerced or deprived of their freedom of 
action. No one can understand their difficulties or their Geth- 
semanes unless he has been through an experience that denied 
him all freedom of choice. Just as the laws of democratic na- 
tions in the West provide that a man is not morally or legally 
responsible for signed statements or "confessions" resulting 
from coercion, even so Christians should suspend judgment 
against those Chinese Christians who have recently signed 
statements that their friends find incredible. 

Communism has become the most widespread term used in 
this generation by Westerners to denounce any person or system 
.that is disliked. But if there were no Communists left in China 
tomorrow, the Churches would still be faced with the atheism 
that has brought this present chaos to pass. Communism was 
not seeded by Russia alone. It is a condemnation of the trans- 
gression of the primary law of God. Communism is much more 
than a philosophy of economics which we reject. Communism 
is a criticism of anemic Christianity. Communism proposes 
a new definition of God. Wu Yao-tsung, of the Chinese 
Y. M. C. A., editor of the Association Press and one of the 
most ardent supporters of the Communist regime among 
China's Christians, 11 has declared that the attitude of the Com- 
munist Government of Pe-king on religion is: "God is truth, 
truth is found in Communism; therefore, in joining Commu- 
nism, a man is worshiping God," 12 

Communism in China has early recognized the force of 
Christianity in China's revolutions. From the outset Com- 
munism has sought to communize Christianity in China. The 
very thought causes many to shudder, but this is taking place 
today and will succeed unless Christians can Christianize Com- 
munism. This challenge is especially well presented in an edi- 
torial in The Christian Century (August 15, 1951 ). 13 

Communism is the kingdom of this world to which the Chris- 

196 The Lost Churches of China 

tian Church must address itself fearlessly, demanding recogni- 
tion of man's inalienable right to worship God, which alone 
gives dignity to man as a child of God and preserves man's 
freedom and integrity. * Inherent in all religious experience is 
an imperative urging the believer to act to act according to 
the will of the Deity or the nature of the universe as revealed 
to him" 14 

Social radicalism should have no terror for Christians, other- 
wise child labor and slavery could never have been abolished. 
The social gospel is not un-Christian. Indeed, our Christian 
duty is to do not less but more in seeking to make the condi- 
tions under which men live consonant with Christian brother- 
hood. But this must never be undertaken as a substitute for the 
nurture of man's soul, or for the replenishment of the poverty of 
his spirit. This is the primary function of the Church. When it 
is neglected, the Church is lost. Some years ago the author 
met Chow Kwo-hsien, son-in-law of the grekt Confucian 
scholar Liang Chi-chao. For eight years Mr. Chow had repre- 
sented the Government of China abroad. He knew the United 
States and Canada from long associations in Washington and 
Ottawa. In North China he gave me this penetrating analysis 
of the religious needs of his people: 

" I am a Christian, but I have a quarrel with missionaries. Men 
like you have come to China, impelled by the most wonderful tiling 
in the world. You find here a country of stupendous needs which 
all make their dynamic appeal. As Christians, you have stepped 
forward and have accomplished wonders in helping China find a 
solution to her problems. For this we are grateful, but you have 
failed to give China the dynamic power that enables your own 
country to rise to our need. We do not need your money as much 
as we need this same spirit, which has made your own country great. 
There is no hope of China's emerging from her chaos and tragedy 
until there shall be sufficiently large numbers of men and women 
who have been brought into the experience of the life that is in 
Jesus Christ, so as to change the whole substance of our national 
life. This is the priceless message you have for China; without it we 
are lost. But you missionaries lean over backward in being willing 
to hide your Christian gospel if it is not welcome, in being content 
to share in social reforms and economic uplift at every point. This 
you have done and done well. But it is not enough. Until through 

Conclusion 197 

the efforts of Christians the thought of China shall be permeated 
by the personality of Jesus, China will not be able to accomplish 
social reforms for herself. In terms of the centuries to come that is 
your greatest task." 15 

The great illusion of our time has been that Western civili- 
zation could conquer sin and tragedy and that democracy 
could achieve security in our own existence. The catastrophe 
in China teaches us that no life, no nation, is able to overcome 
the finiteness of sin and tragedy. 

The first duty of Christians, as they face the stupendous 
losses in China, requires humility in order to undertake the 
most searching self-scrutiny, to discover, if possible, wherein 
lies the misplaced emphasis that has contributed to these losses. 
Christians must accept responsibility for sowing the seeds that 
germinated in the struggle for political freedom, the cultural 
renaissance, the social revolution, the industrial upheaval, and 
the religious crisis. We have been proud of our part in the 
first four, but it is the last of these five that is the most impor- 
tant and for which the Church has found itself the least pre- 
pared. The emphasis on the social and cultural contributions 
of Western Churches to China, in which the West found cause 
for pride as a concrete application of Christianity, had by 1949 
absorbed the major part of all missionary energies. In some of 
the missions only a small part of the total expenditure was de- 
voted to evangelistic work. A generation of graduates from 
Christian schools arose in China who were heartily in favor of 
the social application of Christianity without knowing its 
Founder as their Saviour. 

The dominant aspiration of the Chinese is, not Communism, 
but nationalism, in which national sovereignty and self-respect 
demand an end of encroachments of foreign powers. It was on 
the crest of this wave that the Communists came to power. 
Whenever Communism fails to give the Chinese the fulfill- 
ment of the nationalism for which they have struggled so long, 
then Communism will be rejected. The Communists already 
imperil their position by leaning so heavily on Russia. Before 

198 The Lost Churches of China 

the Western democracies can expect to be heeded again in 
China they must show sufficient humility to renounce their 
betrayal of China at Yalta. This was the greatest loss of " face " 
in the history of the Republic. A Chinese cannot survive with- 
out his self-respect or ** f ace." Only admission of error on the 
part of the West can restore this to the Chinese mind. There is 
much to indicate that deep down the Chinese would prefer to 
be friends with the democracies of the West, if only the West 
could restore the loss of face suffered by the Chinese in the 
Yalta Agreement. 

The Christian Church can lead the way to this reconcilia- 
tion. At the same time the Church must hold eternal hostility 
against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. While it 
thus must be on guard, it must at the same time recognize 
that the greatest need of our time is for humility. Humility is 
a mark of strength, not weakness. The weak person is likely to 
be on the defensive. He is afraid to admit that he is in the 
wrong. Missionaries need to be on guard lest they become un- 
consciously proud of a false humility. There is a valid distinc- 
tion between humility and gentleness. One thinks of the loving 
gentleness that has characterized the unselfish devotion of so 
many missionaries. This won the admiration of the Chinese. 
But humility is much more than gentleness. Humility reveals 
the strong person who is not afraid. He can admit his mistakes 
without losing stature or ** face." He is able to discern truth 
wherever it appears; he is respectful. The missionary move- 
ment has often mistaken gentleness of spirit for humility, and 
many whose unselfish devotion and kindness deserve only the 
highest tribute have at the same time held a pride in their work 
that prevented them seeing the full expanse of the Kingdom 
of God. Proud of their "humility/' they unconsciously but- 
tressed their own superiority in their interpretation of God. 

Our generation of missionaries has been the product of the 
greatest era of " success * slogans that the world has ever 
known. We have come from a civilization and culture of sales- 
men. We have made Christianity the " success * religion. Thus 

Conclusion 199 

we have too often attempted to be salesmen of the Christian 
religion and found ourselves a part of a highly organized sales 
force, with the demands of sending agencies and supporting 
boards for statistical reports that would ever reveal encourag- 
ing success curves, similar to the most modern methods of 
business salesmanship. The pressure of salesmanship to con- 
centrate only on the salesman's product or brand has its counter- 
part in the multiplicity of sects in the modern missionary ap- 
proach to China. Too many missionaries have had little more 
humility than an ardent salesman. Jesus did not bid us to go 
and sell, but to go and tell. 

We have been trying to sell a conception of God that is not 
big enough. The solution to the problem that confronts us is 
not to be found by simply throwing Communism out of China, 
in the hope that then missionaries can return and pick up their 
work again. This hour demands that Christians seek for that 
spirit of humility which will recognize that God does not need 
the protection of the Christians, but that God does demand 
that Christians shall humble themselves before him (Matt. 

We mtist not mistake travail for death, instead of looking 
for the birth that is impending in the convulsions of the expir- 
ing order. Noiselessly the leaven lightens the lump of human 
clay, in spite of the prophets of doom. The daylight will not 
fail to return after the night is done. The only important ques- 
tion is whether the Christian Church will become sufficiently 
chastened to lay hold of all truth wherever God has revealed 
it to all peoples. 

The skepticism and materialism of this age can be defeated 
only by a positive affirmation of the Christian faith. This will 
require of many that we go back to where we lost it. Those 
of us who have been missionaries in China must think of this 
hour as a judgment upon our work and upon ourselves. The 
challenge to all belief in God confronting the Christian Church 
in China at the middle of the twentieth century is a deeper and 
more sinister challenge than that of the older paganism that 

X) The Lost Churches of China 

pposed earlier missionaries. This new challenge arises from 
n atheism that is flanked by a powerful social philosophy, and 
wept forward on a wave of passion that at times reaches 
ncontrollable action. If the Church is to meet this crisis in a 
/ay that captures the opportunity within it, it must lay hold 
I truth at its very foundations and proclaim it fearlessly. Those 
vho are willing to accept this chastening hour mustiest the 
r alidity of their own position by examining the historical evi- 

Christianity has each time come to China as a foreign reK- 
;ion, and has, with rare exceptions, failed to recognize the 
act that there was a contradiction in its message. Christianity 
Droclaims that there is only one God, and that he has made 
limself known to all peoples, but missionaries in China have 
oo often insisted that Western interpretations of Christianity 
3ossessed the only true and definitive knowledge of God. Con- 
sequently, again with rare exceptions, few missionaries entered 
Bto a sympathetic appreciation and understanding of the men 
>vh0 had walked with God in China's historic past. Western 
Christians seem to forget that Jesus Christ was bom in Asia. 

In each period, within each branch of the missionary move- 
ment, there have been the tidy little minds who came to China 
sure and certain that they carried the faith once and for all 
delivered to the saints. They buttressed their faith with walls 
3f prejudice against any possible concession that there was any 
truth of God in China before their arrival. Fortunately, how- 
3ver, there have been those who were inspired to seek for evi- 
lences of the living God moving in the hearts of men. These 
sensitive spirits have kept a light burning in the window to 
show the way home. With rare exceptions, missionaries have 
dot appreciated the spiritual values in China's religious herit- 
age, nor has there been adequate effort to relate the Christian 
Faith to the highest aspirations of China's religious thought. 
Too many missionaries, together with the boards of the 
Churches tibat sent them to China, have dismissed China's reli- 
gious past as completely pagan and idolatrous. Yet even those 

Conclusion 201 

who have held this position have nevertheless employed in 
the Chinese translation of the Bible the noblest terms used by 
Confucius regarding the Supreme Being to denote God, Like- 
wise the loftiest concept of Lao Tzu is used by Christians to 
make real to the Chinese the first chapter of John. If these two 
sages of ancient China, who lived in the sixth century before 
Christ, could have expressed such sublime spiritual concep- 
tions of the Supreme Being and of the Holy as to warrant 
Christians* adopting their terms in the translation of the Bible, 
then Christians must be honest enough to recognize that these 
men have walked with God as surely as the Hebrew prophets 
of their contemporary period. Otherwise Christianity cannot es- 
cape from the accusation of plagiarism. It is not a matter of 
strategy or expediency that we should recognize the presence 
of the living God in China's historic past This must be recog- 
nized as the primal duty of Christian humility and integrity. 
The opposition engendered by a lack of humility, too often 
manifested by missionaries and other foreigners in their atti- 
tude toward the Chinese and their cultural past, is responsible 
for much antagonism. This arrogant attitude has often been 
responsible for the subconscious barriers that have existed be- 
tween the Christ whom missionaries came to reveal and the 
Chinese whom they came to convert. Karl Earth gives this 
position a vehement expression: " The missionary is servant 
not of men but of the Word of God. The divine grace is to be an- 
nounced as a miracle, not as a bridge that one may build, not 
as a sublimation of the natural; hence the missionary is not 
to c fraternize/ nor accept the fellowship of fallen faiths/' 16 

It is very doubtful if Jesus would ever have referred to 
China's religious heritage as " fallen faiths " (John 10:16). Un- 
happily the position expressed by Barth has been too frequently 
shown in the attitude of many missionaries. In spite of all the 
superstitions and animistic idolatries that crisscross China's 
religions, the Chinese have kept a light burning in Asia for 
thousands of years. 

Christians are often as guilty as the ancient Israelites in at- 

202 The Lost Churches of China 

tempting to monopolize God. Tins generation needs to learn 
anew the lesson taught the prophet Jonah when he rebelled 
against the thought of going to preach to Israel's enemy, the 
Assyrians, in the great city of Nineveh. His actions indicate that 
he thought the God of Israel had lost his head by including the 
ancient enemy in his concern. Jonah sought to hide himself 
until God should come to his senses. Likewise, the voice of 
the prophet Amos proclaiming the universality of God was a 
voice crying in the wilderness (Amos 9:7). 

Christians who are afraid to let God loose lest he manifest 
himself to the non-Christian world in a manner far from their 
domesticated ideas of what God should be like, need to read 
The Book of Amos. Christian missionaries have been thrown 
out of China five times in thirteen hundred years. Before Chris- 
tianity can hope to be worthy of a permanent place in Chinese 
lif e it must believe that the awareness of the Holy, which we de- 
scribe as God, and ascribe to God, was possessed by such 
great souls as Confucius and Lao Tzu. This must not be adopted 
as a strategy or concession to win a re-entry to China. Such 
procedure would violate Christian integrity. But this approach 
must arise from an imperative conviction that it is Christian so 
to do, and that this is a part of the revelation of God which 
Jesus Christ came to fulfill. First century Christians showed a 
willingness and readiness to abandon historic patterns of cul- 
ture in order to preserve the Christian spirit which was origi- 
naEy expressed within the form they discarded. Thus they 
strategically made early Christianity not a Hebrew religion, 
but one grafted upon Greek and Roman cultures. 

We must see the hand of God in this dark hour. " Either all 
occurrences are in some degree the revelation of God, or else 
there is no such revelation at all. . . . Only if God be revealed 
in the rising of the sun in the sky can he be revealed in the 
rising of a Son of man from the dead; only if he be revealed in 
the history of the Syrians and Philistines (and Chinese) can he 
be revealed in the history of Israel/' 1T Only when Christians 
approach China and its cultural past with the same reverence 

Conclusion 203 

and appreciation of Confucius and Lao Tzu as we have to- 
ward Moses and the Hebrew prophets shall we be able to dis- 
cover the full revelation of God in Jesus. Repeated failure to 
understand this is responsible for attitudes of superiority which 
have been resented by the Chinese throughout the history of 
Christianity in China. 

The worst things in Chinese life the failure of the people 
to think of each other in compassionate terms, or to emulate 
more fully the precepts of their sages must not be compared 
only with the best things in Christian history. There were 
many idolatrous practices among the ancient Israelites, and 
the Law and the Prophets had not enough influence to prevent 
the crucifixion. The modern idolatries of Christians in the West 
should make many hang their heads in shame. Christians can- 
not escape responsibility for their share in the two devastat- 
ing world wars of the twentieth century, in which millions of 
Christians were killed by Christians. This fact alone has had a 
staggering repercussion on the non-Christian peoples of Asia. 
Unfortunately, " the Church is limited by conventional people 
with strong convictions on little matters." 1S Christians must 
humbly recognize that the Western world shares Communism's 
materialistic dreams and that Christians have attempted to 
outshine it. Only the methods are different. Similarly the real 
crisis in China is not different from the real crisis in the West, 
except in degree. In China the Communists attempt to force 
the people to renounce or ignore God. In the West our people 
have already become largely indifferent to God. Only the 
spirit of humility can save our generation. True humility must 
acknowledge that God whom Jesus knew and with whom 
he lived in communion and oneness is the only God of the 
ages, the God of Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Amos, Con- 
fucius, Lao Tzu, and all who have sought him. As Christians, 
we affirm that the fullness of God is revealed in Jesus as no- 
where else in man's experience. But this affirmation must not be 
made with an exclusiveness never to be found in the words of 
Jesus. Christians recognize their debt to the Jews and cherish 

204 The Lost Churches of China 

the Old Testament " The incomparability and unity of God 
are the fundamental doctrines of Judaism." 19 In their doctrine 
of the imitation of God, the Jews did not transfer to man the 
holiest attributes and qualities of God, but the Hebrew proph- 
ets proclaimed that these attributes and qualities are what 
God demands of man. Confucius and Lao Tzu postulated very 
similar attributes with this same idea of the incomparability 
and unity of God. Jesus summed it all up in his great and first 
commandment. The tragedy of our generation lies in the 
priority we have given to his second commandment over the 

The second duty of Christians is to serve the cause of truth 
fully. The Church must uphold and conserve the truths in the 
ethical teachings of Confucius and Lao Tzu as constituting the 
religious patrimony of the Chinese. Failure to do this con- 
tributed greatly to the creation of the vacuum into which Com- 
munism so swiftly entered. The fact that Protestant Christianity 
had dislodged the Confucian ethics from a central place in 
Chinese thought did not satisfy the Communists, for the prin- 
ciples of Confucius presented a particular challenge to Com- 
munist ideology. The Communist State could not run the risks 
involved in permitting such dangerous thoughts to gain sway 
among the people. 

In this century the Roman Catholic Church departed far 
from the scholarly position of Ricci in the seventeenth century. 
In spite of the splendid work done in this field three centuries 
ago by the Jesuits, the views of modern Roman Catholics have 
been far less appreciative of Chinese religious thought than 
their earlier missionaries. In the twentieth century accessions 
to the Roman Catholic Church in China have been more nu- 
merous from Buddhism than from Confucianism. 20 Thus the 
great truths enunciated by China's sages have been choked by 
both branches of the Christian Church through lack of appre- 

History repeatedly reveals the presentness of the past. Chi- 
nese history is marked with uprisings of the Confucian school 

Conclusion 205 

against those Governments which denied the validity of peren- 
nial truths. China will not long tolerate any system of govern- 
ment that completely repudiates the ethics of Confucius. By 
comparison Communism and other totalitarian systems are a 
hardy growth. Communism cannot survive in China unless it 
succeeds in completely suppressing the Confucian ethics, and 
prevents the Christian Church from teaching the relation of man 
to God as well as to his fellow man. That the Communists sense 
this is evident in their attempts to suppress the classics and con- 
trol the Churches. 

"Liberation" is the new name for sham which has been 
foisted upon the Chinese. Freedom of conscience, man's most 
sacred heritage, has been denied the Chinese in 'their " libera- 
tion/' The Communists further alienate popular support by 
their repudiation of China's ancient heritage in the destruc- 
tion of the Confucian teachings. 

^ ** In the pressures of the modern world the freedom of man in 
his human right alone cannot stand; nor does it deserve to stand. 
It is a sham and a usurpation. It is a sham because it poses as real 
freedom when, in fact, it is nothing of the kind/' 21 

In this crisis Christians must uphold the Confucian respect 
for human personality and affirm man's ultimate dependence 
on the Supreme Being as found in the Confucian ethics, and 
align these with the full interpretation of the brotherhood of 
man and the Fatherhood of God as revealed in Jesus. This is 
the heritage of our democratic tradition, for which men have 
given their lives. It lives subconsciously on its underlying faith 
in God. If man is a product of material processes alone, as 
Communism affirms, then both democracy and Christianity are 
absurd. Democracy is not a system to be believed in just be- 
cause it produces desirable things for mankind. Democracy is 
one of the desirable things in itself; it uses the status given 
men by Christianity. If it is to survive, it must become more 
conscious of its source of vitality. Its real menace is from with- 
in and not from without. It does not exist in the world today 
save in those countries where the Christian Church is strong 

206 The Lost Churches of China 

and free. Conscious of this fact, the Church cannot escape 
from a sense of the divine imperative voiced by Jesus when he 
placed upon his disciples the missionary task, * Go ye there- 
fore, and teach all nations'* (Matt. 28:19). This is the logical 
imperative of the Christian faith. " Whatever the Kingdom of 
God may mean in the complete significance of the great phrase, 
it at least means the spiritual unity of all men and races." * 2 
There are no limits to be set in history for the achievement of 
a more universal brotherhood in the Kingdom of God. 

Warning should be taken from the fact that national pride 
and * face," with reverence for the historic past, are so great 
that failure of Christians to show due appreciation of the 
truths in China's religious heritage may bring to pass a revival 
of Confucianism, with persecution and opposition to all for- 
eign religions. It would be disastrous if the pendulum should 
be allowed to swing into a revival of Confucianism on a wave 
of reaction, as has happened before. Therefore it is the duty of 
Christians to meet this momentous opportunity to champion 
truth wherever it appears in the Chinese classics. It is one 
thing to repudiate the idolatrous paganism, superstition, and 
animism which have so long been woven with and condoned in 
Confucianism. AU this was rebuked by Confucius. The positive 
course of action is to lift into prominence the imperishable 
truths that have been obscured by these superstitions. Thus 
the present seeming catastrophe can become a divine instru- 
ment. The closed doors in this hour only seem to close. The 
greatest opportunity of the centuries beckons a new mission- 
ary approach to China. If mission boards will continue to sup- 
port their missionaries who have been compelled to withdraw 
from China, and permit them to enter schools for the more 
complete study of the Chinese language, with particular em- 
phasis on the truths in China's religious heritage, then this 
seeming defeat can be consolidated and turned into a spiritual 
victory. This may be the greatest opportunity ever given to 
the Christian Church. If we believe that truth wherever found 
is nonetheless truth, then we must recognize that in China as 

Conclusion 207 

well as in other lands God reveals himself to all who seek him. 
The universality of the Christian message rests on the declara- 
tion of Christ that he had come, not to destroy, but to fulfill. 
" The idea of God when firmly held does, as a matter of fact, 
arm us with courage and strength for the moral battle by the 
assurance which this gives us of the ultimate victory of the 
good." 23 

The Chinese equivalent of " indigenous " is a phrase mean- 
ing literally " local grass roots." Thus the indigenous Church 
must mean more than a Western form of Christianity under 
the leadership of Chinese whose minds have been emptied, or 
kept unaware, of their own religious heritage in order to have 
only a Western form of Christianity. The indigenous Church 
must grow upon the roots of the idea of God that God has im- 
planted in Chinese thought. * Religion grows out of the basal 
mood of man in his struggle for life, out of the resolution to 
hold fast under all circumstances to the validity of that which 
he has learned from experience to be of the highest value.'* 24 
This thought must be firmly held in all periods of perplexity. 
The Christian's faith must not rest on authority or on dogmatic 
assertions, but must arise from an appreciation of the supreme 
values in man's experience. " Religion has its natural basis in 
the consciousness of an infinite, eternal, and mysterious reality 
on which we are in the last resort absolutely dependent. And 
spiritual religion begins with the interpretation of that reality 
in terms of the highest we know." 25 

" Christianity has always had a way of turning water into wine, 
of bringing prodigals home, ... of bringing lire out of death, of 
turning sunsets to sunrises. It is always, whenever it comes into 
vital contact with its Founder, a religion of surprise and wonder. 
It does the unexpected. It makes the lame man walk and the blind 
man see, . . . but it always goes dead and static as soon as it he- 
comes absorbed in its own self-preservation. As soon as it lives unto 
itself and is concerned only with problems of organization and self- 
promotion its pulse slows down and its miracles of life cease. Chris- 
tianity is essentially apostolic, that is, missionary. It is a religion 
* sent out* to bless and heal and save. It cannot 'find itself ' any 
other way." ** 

208 The Lost Churches of China 

Hope is to be found in the heart-searching that is going on 
among Christians. The Churches of China, Nestorian, Roman 
Catholic, and Protestant, have been a part of the whole move- 
ment of Christendom, forever falling, forever rising, magnifi- 
cent at its best, petty at its worst; forever saved by the greatly 
illumined, the greatly daring, and the greatly dedicated. His- 
tory reveals that God is never so near as in the hour of man's 
extremity (cf. I Kings 19:10ff.). 

The missionary task stands in need of an infusion of a new 
sense of urgency, which can be derived only from an awareness 
of the immanence of God not less than that manifested by 
Jesus. One of the difficulties is to make a valid distinction be- 
tween urgency and anxiety. It is the anxiety in missions that 
has resulted in competitive pressure for speed and numbers of 
converts. The Church needs to gird itself with the patience that 
was always present in the urgency of Jesus. He conceived of 
a slow leavening process in which his followers would, in hid- 
den ways, cure the vast mass of human life. ** The lostness of 
men was about him, as it is about us; yet the gospel he preached 
was an unhurried gospel; it had the note of infinite urgency with- 
out being breathless; it was not animated by panic, because it 
had its central certainty of the outcome in God's hands/* 2T 

Some new age, some new racial or national culture, may 
conceivably place the spirit of Jesus in a new culture pattern. 
There is a growing sense of urgency that demands of our age 
the abandonment of old prejudices in order that our conduct 
may more closely approximate that of the Jesus of the Gospels. 
But there is still a tendency on the part of each denomination 
to designate as Christian every procedure that it has itself ap- 
proved. It is all too easy to pass from the conviction that some- 
thing is admirable to the assertion that consequently it is a part 
of Christianity. ** We may make not Christianity but ourselves 
the center, and conclude that everything is obviously wrong 
when it is different from what we do/* 28 

The words of Gandhi to our generation deserve to be heeded 
by every missionary to Asia: "I want missionaries to comple- 

Conclusion 209 

ment the faith of the people instead of undermining it." 29 The 
Christian mission which takes within its grasp the whole world 
must find its unity in a spiritual interpretation that should be 
expected to express itself in many differentiations of form and 
culture while adhering to an essential unity. The quest for this 
spiritual unity can be accomplished only when we remember 
how Jesus startled his disciples by telling them that " the field 
is the world." There must be humble recognition that God, who 
was in Jesus, has been working in this field long before us, and 
still works. The missionary of the future must adjust himself 
sensitively to the change that has come over our modern world 
through the multiple means of communications. The idea of 
the foreign missionary going from one country to another, to 
carry the gospel, must give way to a more inclusive concept of 
Christians in all lands entering into a spiritual fellowship that 
transcends national boundaries and international barriers. The 
responsibility of this Christian fellowship must be to share with 
one another in the accomplishment of this quest for spiritual 
unity, while at the same time witnessing to the non-Christian 
world, which impinges today upon Christians wherever they 
live, in every land of the earth. Only such a fellowship can ex- 
tend the right hand to the lost Churches of China and help 
them to rediscover the Way. 



In October, 1949, an influential and varied segment of Chi- 
nese Christianity, represented by 21 Chinese Christians, sent 
a message to Mission Boards abroad in an attempt to explain 
the changing conditions to these organizations. (Monthly Re- 
port, Shang-hai, December, 1949, p. 7. ) This message reads in 

u Heretofore, the Chinese Church has been keeping itself aloof 
from the political torrents that surged around it. The new philos- 
ophy considers that all phases of life must necessarily come un- 
der the influence of politics in contradistinction to the traditional 
Protestant view of the separation between Church and State. 
[This sentence is omitted in the article in The United Church 
Observer, May 15, 1950.] In a world where political influences 
play such an important part and affect our lives and work so 
extensively, it is a challenge how the Church as an institution 
and Christians as citizens in society can perform their Chris- 
tian functions and discharge their duties to society at the same 
time. In areas of social service and education we shall have to 
accept the leadership of the Government and conform to the 
general pattern of service, organization, and administration. 
Just how these new adjustments are to be made is for the Chi- 
nese churches to determine. We have our privileges as Chris- 
tian believers. We also have our duties to perform as Chinese 
citizens and Chinese social organizations. 

** Specifically, we wish to invite your attention to three fun- 
damental points of future policy: 

Appendix 2 211 

" 1. The authority of policy determination and financial ad- 
ministration must pass over to Chinese leadership wherever 
it has not yet been done. Definite steps must be taken for its 
realization. The principle of self-support must be reiterated and 
steps taken for its final consummation. 

** 2. As regards the future position of missionaries, we would 
like to state: 

** a. There is nothing in principle which makes the future 
position of the missionary untenable, or renders his service un- 
necessary. On the contrary, there is a definite challenge to 
work and serve under adverse circumstances, and to bear wit- 
ness to the ecumenical fellowship. Even though circumstances 
may render active participation difficult, the mere presence of 
the missionary will give articulate expression to the Christian 
quality of our fellowship which transcends all differences and 
defies all obstacles. 

** b. The future contribution of the missionary will lie along 
lines of special service projects, and not along administrative 
lines. To be, to share, and to live will be a significant contribu- 
tion in itself. 

** c. The missionary, from now on, will be living an work- 
ing in a setting that is entirely foreign to the newcoi/er. Diffi- 
cult physical and mental readjustments will be demanded from 


The following paragraphs are translated from the Tien Feng 
(Christian Weekly) published in Tien-tsin on March 25, 1950, 
setting forth the official policy of the Young Women's Christian 
Association, signed by Cora Teng as the new general secretary 
of the Y. W. C. A. This platform received editorial commenda- 

" Because of the quick recovery and reconstruction of Russia 
after the war, China's revolution achieved its great victory and 

212 The Lost Churches of China 

democratic Germany was set up and the people of all the world 
supported peace with the inspiration of the democratic libera- 
tion movement and the recent signing of the Sino-Soviet Treaty. 
The democratic citadel was never so strong! The Y. W. C. A. 
ought therefore to echo Chairman Mao's slogan, * Lean to One 
Side ' and take your stand with the people and strongly oppose 
the political and war plans of the imperialists and support last- 
ing world peace. Furthermore we must link up with the 
Y. W. C. A. members in every country who take the same 
stand and mutually bear the responsibility of straggling for 
Y. W. C. A.'s who have been hoodwinked and used by the 
imperialist countries to take their stand on the side of truth. 

" Beloved members! This is now the century of the people. 
Before our eyes there is only one road. In the spirit of Christ 
we must grasp the very highest principles of the New China 
and under the leadership of Chairman Mao and the People's 
Government thoroughly put into practice the * Common Prin- 
ciples ' [Le., of the People's Consultative Conference] and es- 
tablish a New Democratic China and struggle for progress." 


This proclamation was published on the front cover of Ta 
Rung Pao (Shang-hai, Church of Christ in China), June, 1950, 
V. 22, No. 6, from New China Neivs Agency, Pe-king, May 29, 

* China's Great Call to Peace " 

" We the people of the religious world send out this procla- 

" The Great Call of the Society for the Preservation of World 

" We, the members of the Standing Committee of the Society 
for the Preservation of World Peace, ardently respond and ask 
for the outlawing of all atomic weapons unconditionally. Fur- 
thermore we proclaim that whoever first uses these weapons 
is the war criminal. 

Appendix 3 213 

41 Spread out before the eyes of the people of the world are 
two roads: the road to peace and the road to war. Apart from 
considering American imperialism as the head of the war- 
mongers who want to make war, the rest of the people of the 
whole world have already determined to go the great road of 
peace. This decision is so strongly fixed that no violence nor 
rumors of the imperialistic nations can shake it. 

" In the movement to oppose the great wave of imperialistic 
war, China holds a very important place. For more than one 
hundred years China has suffered from imperialistic aggression. 
During her eight years of war against Japan and her four years 
of war of liberation, the calamities which the imperialists have 
added to China cannot be numbered. The quick results of 
China's revolution have greatly strengthened the peace move- 
ments and changed the face of the world. It has greatly fright- 
ened the imperialists and they don't know what to do. In this 
state of confusion they are more crazily preparing every kind 
of war machine, hoping for the last struggle. Meanwhile, those 
of us who are struggling for peace cannot slacken a moment or 
rest. We must link up with the great mass to let them recognize 
the true face of imperialism and make them a strong branch of 
the World Peace Camp. 

" If we want to struggle for a lasting peace, we must link 
up with Soviet Russia, the great rampart of peace, and with 
all the people of the democratic countries (People's Republics ) . 
This Peace Camp represents more than one third of the people 
of the whole world. Besides this, in every imperialistic country 
there are large numbers of oppressed races who have, in the 
same way, determined to oppose war and preserve peace. This 
strength to preserve peace is stronger than anything else. 

"We not only oppose the use of atomic weapons but also 
oppose germ warfare and the war propaganda of the imperial- 
ists; we oppose those who set free German and Japanese war 
criminals, and who are oppressing the colonial peoples who are 
struggling for race independence and the democratic peace 
movement; we oppose all the Fascist actions of the imperialists 

214 The Lost Churches of China 

who are brutally treating their own people in their own coun- 
tries who want peace. 

" We who are of those who have religious faith ought to be 
especially aware of the imperialism which is seizing every op- 
portunity to split the revolutionary camp and to cultivate re- 
actionaries within the camp. We should keep a close watch and 
without sentiment expose and strongly strike at them and leave 
them no hole to utilize the name of religion and relief work to 
do their evil deeds. 

"We who stand in the place of those who have religious 
faith and a belief in humanity call all Christians of China, and 
all Buddhists and all Mohammedans and those of other faiths, 
to use all practical and effective words and deeds and link up 
closely with all the peace-loving people of the world, to pro- 
tect world peace and struggle for nationalism and independ- 
ence and make a reality of the People's Democracy." 

Signed by: 

Y. T. WU (Wu Yao-tsung is Editor of the Association Press, 
Y. M. C. A., Shang-hai, and one of the five " representatives " 
of religious groups invited by the Communist authorities 
to be a member of the People's Political Consultative Con- 
ference at Pe-king, September, 1949, and there elected to 
be a member of the Presidium. 

LIU LIANG-MO, also one of the five Christians on the PPCC. 
T. C. CHAO, Dean of Yen-ching School of Religion and one of 
the six co-presidents of the World Council of Churches, 
elected at Amsterdam, resigned April, 1951, and also one 
of five Christians as " delegates * to the PPCC. 
CHAO PU-CHU, a Buddhist, alternative delegate to PPCC. 
CHU CHAN, a Buddhist, alternative delegate to PPCC. 
MA CHIEN, a Moslem, delegate to PPCC. 
TENG YU-CHIH (Miss Cora Teng), General Secretary of the 
National Committee of the Young Women's Christian As- 
sociation and one of five Christians on PPCC as * delegates 
from religious groups.** 

Appendix 4 215 

YU YU-CHING, General Secretary of National Committee of 

Y. M. C. A. 

H. H. TS'UI, General Secretary of Church of Christ in China. 
Z. T. KIANG, Methodist Bishop, Pe-king (the minister who 

baptized Chiang Kai-shek twenty years earlier). 

With the exception of two Buddhists and one Moslem who 
joined in this manifesto, all signatures above were by Chris- 
tians, and some of them among the most prominent Christians 
in China. 


This statement was issued at the conclusion of the Confer- 
ence of 151 Christian Delegates held in Pe-king, April 16 to 21, 
1951. It is translated from tie Ta Rung Pao, Hong-kong edition 
of April 27, 1951, which carried it as a telegram released by the 
Official Government News Agency in Pe-king: 

" We, the representatives of all the Protestant Churches and 
organizations in China, gathered in the capital city of our coun- 
try, Pe-king, to attend a conference of Protestant Christian 
organizations receiving American financial aid, called by the 
Central Government's Committee on Cultural and Educational 
Affairs, issue the following statement, to fellow Christians in 
China and in the whole world: 

* At the time when the peace strength is growing among the 
people of the world, imperialism has already reached its last 
days. The encroachment of American imperialism in Korea and 
in Taiwan is a final show of strength before death, American 
imperialism is now arming Japan and West Germany, prepar- 
ing to force its objective. In Korea it has already met the force 
of the people of China and Korea it will yet experience in 
the end defeat and death. 

16 The Lost Churches of China 

" We strongly oppose this American imperialistic aggression, 
/e strongly oppose the use of atomic weapons, we oppose a 
eparate peace treaty with Japan, and oppose rearming Japan, 
ppose rearming West Germany. We wish to unite with all 
Christians in the world who love peace and oppose all schemes 
if American imperialism to break peace programs. 

" But most Christians in the world are good. It is the wicked 
cnperialists who use the Church as their tool in aggression. In 
uly, 1950, the Executive Committee of the World Council of 
Dhurches met in Toronto, Canada, and passed a resolution con- 
cerning the war in Korea, branding the North Koreans as ag- 
;ressors, and appealing to the United Nations to exhort member 
lations to take part in * police action * in Korea, and opposing 
he signed appeal of 500,000,000 people (Stockholm Peace 
Appeal ) against the use of atomic weapons. 

"This resolution distorts truth. It is contrary to the desires 
)f peace-loving people of the world. The resolution of the 
/Vorld Council of Churches echoes the voice of the U.S. State 
department If one examines this truth-distorting resolution 
me can see that the World Council is the tool of Wall Street 
ind of the instigator of the Korean War (John Foster Dulles). 
tVe express our strongest opposition to this resolution of World 
Council. We also wish to expose U.S. imperialism which dur- 
ng the past period of over one hundred years has made use of 
he Church's work in evangelism and cultural activities to carry 
>ut its sinister policy. In our manifesto of September, 1950, we 
emphasized the breaking off of relations between the Church 
n China and imperialism, and purging out from the Church 
>f all imperialistic influences. We feel that the breaking off of 
ill imperialistic connections and the purging out of all imperial- 
stic influences is the direction that should be energetically pur- 
ued by the Church in China, and all Christians in the world. 
Ve must cleanse the holy Temple of God and preserve the 
>urity of the Church. 

" On December 29, 1950, the Legislative Yuan of the Cen- 
ral People's Government announced its decision concerning 

Appendix 4 217 

the * Plan to control cultural, educational, and relief organiza- 
tions and religious bodies receiving American financial aid.' At 
this meeting we have discussed the draft proposed by the Gov- 
ernment concerning the plan to be adopted by Protestant reli- 
gious bodies receiving American financial aid. We have also 
heard the report of the Government leaders and had detailed 
discussions. We recognize the plan of the Central People's 
Government for the protection of the Protestant Church as 
certainly careful, complete, and very satisfactory. The 5th sec- 
tion of the * Common Program * guarantees the people's freedom 
of religion and belief; moreover we have been given freedom of 
religion and belief and this state of affairs has greatly encour- 
aged and strengthened Protestant Christians in self-govern- 
ment, self-support and self-propagation. In regard to these 
Government arrangements, we not only gladly accept them, 
but we also express the gratitude of our hearts. American 
imperialism wishes to use the method of freezing assets to 
cause the Protestant Churches and enterprises dependent on 
foreign funds to fall into despair. But the People's Government 
helped us to progress towards a bright future. We believe that 
the Chinese Protestant Church, relying upon God, and under 
the guidance of Chairman Mao and the encouragement and 
help of the Government, will be able to make full use of its 
strength to raise up a more perfect, a more pure, and a fitter 
Christian enterprise to serve the people. 

" We call upon fellow Christians in the whole country: 
" ( 1 ) To resolutely support and carry out the Central Gov- 
ernment Legislative Yuan's 'Plan to control cultural, educa- 
tional, and relief organizations and religious bodies receiving 
American financial aid/ and also the regulations concerning 
registration for cultural, educational, and relief organizations 
and religious bodies receiving foreign financial aid and having 
transactions in foreign exchange, together with the resolution 
received from the Legislative Yuan and passed by this full 
meeting concerning "The Method of Control for Protestant 
Christian Bodies Receiving American Financial Aid.' And /*- 

218 The Lost Churches of China 

natty to thoroughly and permanently, and completely, sever 
all relations with American missions and all other missions, 
thus realizing self-government, self-support, and self-propaga- 
tion in the Chinese Church. 

" (2) To enthusiastically take part in the * Oppose America, 
Support Korea ' movement, strongly supporting the resolution 
of the Executive of the World Peace Movement concerning 
the Five Nations Peace Treaty, support all decisions of the 
* Oppose America, Support Korea * People's Central Organiza- 
tion, and also make known and carry out definitely the patriotic 
program. Every local church body, every Christian publication 
must implement the * Oppose America, Aid Korea * propaganda 
and make this propaganda known to every Christian. 

" (3) To support the ' Common Program/ support the Gov- 
ernment's Land Reform policy, and support the Government in 
the suppression of the antirevolutionaries, obey all Govern- 
ment laws, positively respond to the Government's commands, 
and exert every effort in the reconstruction of the nation. We 
want to be more alert, to resolutely reject the blandishments of 
imperialism, to assist the Government to discover and punish 
antirevolutionary and corrupt elements within the Protestant 
Church; to resolutely oppose the hidden plans of imperialists 
and reactionaries who wish to destroy the three * self ' move- 
ments and encourage in each Church and Christian organiza- 
tion the spreading of these movements and denounce in them 
the imperialists and antirevolutionary bad elements. 

" (4) To increase patriotic education, greatly enlarge the 
study movement in order to increase the political consciousness 
of the Christians, Finally we call upon all Christians to con- 
tinue to promote and enlarge the campaign to secure signatures 
to the revolutionary documents and firmly resolve to make 
effective the three * self * missions of the Church, and with the 
highest enthusiasm welcome the unlimited, glorious future of 
the People's Republic of China/* 

Appendix 5 219 


These accusations were made by Chinese Christians against 
their fellow Christians at the Conference of Christian Delegates 
in Pe-king, April, 1951. The following report is translated from 
Ta Kung Pao, Hong-kong, April 24, 1951, quoting telegram of 
New China News Agency, Pe-king, April 22, 1951: 

<c Every Delegate in the Whole Body of the Christian Confer- 
ence Accuses Agents of Imperialistic Crimes. Severely Blame 
Frank Price and Others for Being Tools of American Imperial- 
istic Aggression. Unanimously Beg the People's Government to 
Give Severe Punishment 

"All delegates of the whole body of Christians who have 
been receiving American subsidy, and who had been called to 
Pe-king to settle the matter, heard through Kou Mo-ju, Assist- 
ant Premier of the Legislative Yuan; Lu Ting-yi, Vice-Chair- 
man of the Educational Commission; and the Assistant Secre- 
tary, Shao Chwan-lin. After having heard their reports, during 
the two days, April 17 and 18, in small discussion groups, they 
began to understand more fully, They began to awaken more 
fully to an understanding of the long period in which Amer- 
ican imperialism has used the Church and the rotten Chinese 
Church members as their aggressive tools. During the full con- 
ference meetings, on the 19th and 20th they began angrily to 
accuse the bad members of the Church for American imperial- 
istic aggression. 

" During the two days of the full conference meetings, eight- 
een delegates went to the platform to speak. They accused the 
obviously evil-smelling agents of imperialism, Frank Price, 
Timothy Richards, and the rotten Chinese Christians, W. Y. 
Chen, S. C. Leung, Ku Jen-en, and Bishop Y. Y. Tsu. The whole 
body of delegates unanimously requested the People's Govern- 
ment to punish severely these enemies of the People's Govern- 

* The first mentioned and accused as an agent of American 

220 The Lost Churches of China 

imperialism was the former rural work secretary of tihe Church 
of Christ in China, Frank Price. Those who accused him were 
EL H. Ts'ui, General Secretary of the Church of Christ in 
China; Luther Shao, General Secretary of the Nan-king Chris- 
tian Church; T. Y. Shen, chief editor of the Tien Feng (Chris- 
tian Weekly ) ; Shih Chung-i, Secretary of the CheMang-Kiangsu 
Christian Rural Service Union; Shih Ju-chiang, Students' Sec- 
retary of the National Committee of the Y. M. C. A. 

"They accused Frank Price of cloaking his movements of 
American aggression with religion. They accused that during 
the war with Japan Frank Price acted as adviser to the bandit 
Chiang Kai-shek and adviser to the foreign section of the Mili- 
tary Affairs Commission and in Chung-king assisted in the 
training class for interpreters. He had close relations with the 
American Congress. In 1946 he was recommended by Marshall, 
the special ambassador of the United States to China, to be a 
member of the tripartite group for three months. He and Shih 
Ju-fu 3 2d. Lt of the American Army, helped the bandit Chiang 
to draft a secret * Social Education Plan/ In this they planned 
to use American money in China to propagate the doctrine of 
slavery. In this he said that if the plan could be put into prac- 
tice, it could break down the faith of the Chinese people in the 
Communist Party. His plan was corrected by Marshall and given 
to the bandit Chiang. In 1948 he wrote a book called Dawn to 
Dusk in China. In this book he falsely created rumors of the 
Communist Party to vilify the Chinese People's Liberation War 
and energetically praised the bandit Chiang. He also said in 
this book that the bandit Chiang was the Washington of China. 

" Before the liberation he went everywhere spreading rumors 
saying that when the Communists came there would be no free- 
dom of faith. The fact is that he spread this rumor and, as 
Luther Shao said, in accusing him in the conference, 'After 
Liberation the bells of the churches can be heard every day.* 
Frank Price also wrote a book called Home and used religion 
to oppose Communism. He brought anti-Communist thinking 
into the homes of Chinese Christians. Before the fall of Nan- 

Appendix 5 221 

king he wanted all Christians to go to Formosa. After Libera- 
tion he continued to go about Shang-hai trying to break up the 
activities of the Chinese Church. But now Frank Price has 
come upon his last defeat and shame. H. H. Ts'ui, General Sec- 
retary of the Church of Christ in China, in accusing him said 
angrily: * Formerly we suffered poisonous harm from imperial- 
ism and fell into their trap. But today we Chinese people stand 
erect. We will thoroughly cut off forever our relations with im- 
perialism and establish the Chinese people's own Church/ " 

This accusation against Frank Price, noted missionary of the 
Presbyterian Church, U.S., was made at the conference held 
in Pe-king, April, 1951, by H. H. Ts'ui, General Secretary of the 
Church of Christ in China. It is translated literally from the 
Tien Feng (Christian Weekly), No. 262-263 (Shang-hai, May 
8, 1951). The texts of other accusations against Frank Price 
and Chinese Christian leaders, all in a similar vein, appeared 
in the same issue of the Christian Weekly and are available in 
translation from the microfilm copy of the author's unpublished 
doctoral dissertation at the University of Chicago. 

" In order to make a clean sweep of the rubbish within the 
Church, and to increase my political awakening and conscious- 
ness, I accuse Frank Price. This is the first time in my whole life 
that I have ever accused anyone and I do so in order to expose 
the crime of Frank Price, agent of American imperialism. I am 
determined to smash the bourgeois sense of face. 

" Frank Price was born in China an American known as an 
* old China hand.' In 1948 the General Assembly of the Church 
of Christ in China engaged him as their Rural Secretary. He 
was the kind of man who was good at linking together the mili- 
tary, political, industrial, commercial, and student classes, in 
every group of which he had friends. He, therefore, used these 
opportunities to promote the invasion of China, During these 
days in the small discussion groups here, I have had my politi- 

222 The Lost Churches of China 

cal understanding improved and I cannot but confess on be- 
half of the Church of Christ in China the mistakes we made 
in inviting him to become a Secretary. Today I have clearly 
recognized the true face of Frank Price; he has come to China 
in the cloak of religion as an agent of American imperialism 
for cultural aggression, 

"Frank Price's political principle is thoroughly anti-Com- 
munist and anti-Russian. More than once he said to his co- 
worker, Rev. Chu Chen-sheng, * Russia has no democracy; only 
America has real democracy/ He called himself a specialist in 
the study of Communism. He had read more than 200 books 
on Marxism and Leninism. He said, * In the New China there 
couldn't be freedom and the Christian Church would be per- 
secuted/ The fact is that not only has the Church not suffered 
but it has enjoyed perfect freedom. Before Nan-king was * lib- 
erated' Frank Price said to his colleague W. B. Djang: 'Why 
don't you go to Formosa? It is safe there, America will never 
give up Formosa/ 

"During the Sino-Japanese war, Frank Price was Chiang 
Kai-shek's adviser, closely in touch with him, going at least 
once a week to see him. Once Frank Price said to me with his 
own lips that Chiang Kai-shek wanted him to move into his 
official residence to live. I asked him, * Are you going to move? ' 
and he said, * No, because if I stay in his house my ears would 
be deaf/ His meaning was that he wanted at all times and in all 
places to be with the Chinese people to spy for information to 
give to Bandit Chiangs clique and to the American imperial- 
ists. After the Sino-Japanese war Frank Price accepted an ap- 
pointment as an adviser to the false (le., National Government) 
Foreign Affairs Bureau and to be responsible for training inter- 
preters for the Chiang Bandit clique and he used going to 
study in America as bait to win the Chinese youth and build 
up his own power and influence. 

" Frank Price took his orders directly from the State Depart- 
ment to promote his work against the people. Furthermore, he 

Appendix 5 223 

could send telegrams directly to the U.S. State Department. 
All these facts speak for themselves that Frank Price was not 
an ordinary missionary, because an ordinary American citizen 
cannot find Army chaplains for the American Government and 
certainly has not the privilege of cabling the State Department. 
In the spring of 1949, Frank Price selected fifty Chinese young 
people who were high school graduates to go to study in Amer- 
ica. But his method of selecting these students was very spe- 
cial. Every one of them had to be examined by him in person 
or by his appointee. These Chinese young people, when they 
arrived in America, did not live in schools, but in private 
homes. According to what Frank Price said, this was so that 
the Chinese young people could enjoy the American way of 
living. As a matter of fact, this was really to poison the minds 
of the Chinese young people. We cannot imagine the burning 
poisonous zeal of Frank Price, the agent of American im- 

" Another time Frank Price collected many manuscripts of 
speeches from various places and asked me to use the name of 
the Church of Christ in China to print them to provide refer- 
ence material for Chinese evangelists. The concepts in these 
essays were questionable so I refused. The fact is that these 
things show how extraordinary was the zeal and treachery of 
Frank Price. He planned to use the name of the Church of 
Christ in China to spread out-of-date and even reactionary 
ideas in the essays. 

" Today I want to declare myself before you all. From now 
on I shall not speak a single word to Frank Price nor write 
him one letter [applause]. Also I shall not allow him to come to 
the Church of Christ in China [loud applause]. From now 
on I certainly will unite with all the workers to effectively pro- 
mote the * Three-self Reform Movement/ 1 shall try my best 
to get every church member to put his name on the manifesto 
and to strongly support the five-power peace pact and to op- 
pose the American rearming of Japan. In the past I was poi- 

224 The Lost Churches of China 

soned by imperialism and fell into their trap. Today the Chi- 
nese people stand erect: the Chinese Church members also 
stand erect; we must for all time thoroughly sever the rela- 
tions with imperialism and establish a Chinese People's own 



1 Slogan of Student Volunteer 

2 Joachim Wach, Church, De- 
nomination and Sect (Evans- 
ton, 111. : Seabury- Western 
Theological Seminary, 1946). 

3 Arthur Toynbee, A Study of 
History, abridged by D. C*-*' 
Somervell ( Oxford University 
Press, 1947). 

1 ^Bernard M. Loomer, " The 
-Aim of Divinity Education/' 
Foreword in Announcements 
of the Divinity School, Uni-' 
versity of Chicago, Vol. L, 
No. 12, October 5, 1950. 

VDaniel J. Fleming, What 
/ Would You Do When Chris- 
tian Ethics Conflict with 
Standards of Non-Christian 
Cultures? (New York: Friend- 
ship Press, 1949). 
^ 8 ' Cf. Aldous Huxley in Vedanta 
for the Western World, ed. 
by Christopher Isherwood 
(New York: Marcel Rodd 
Company, 1946). 
^William Ernest Hocking, Liv- 
'' ing Religions and a World 
Faith (New York: The Mac- 
millan Company, 1940), p. 
254. Used by permission. 


1 The Chinese Recorder 
(Shang-hai: American Presby- 
terian Mission Press, 1929), 
Vol. LXL Cf. C. F. Johan- 
naber, "Chinese Religious 
Background," p. 23. 

^Herrlee Glessner Creel, The 
Birth of China (New York: 
Reynal & Hitchcock, 1937); 
and Confucius, the Man and 
the Myth (New York: John 
Day Co., Inc., 1949). 

3 Ssu Shu (Shang-hai: Com- 
mercial Press, Ltd.), VIII, 

* William Morgan, The Nature 
and Right of Religion (Edin- 
burgh: T. & T. Clark, 1926). 

5 Quoted by Sir Alfred Noyes, 

The Unknown God (Lon- 
don: Sheed & Ward, Inc., 
1934), p. 123. 
Hocking, Living Religions, 


lean W. R. Inge, God and 
the Astronomers (London: 
Longmans, Green & Com- 
pany, 1933), p. 237. 

8 , James Legge, The Sacred 
Books of China (Oxford: The 
Clarendon Press, 1879- 
1885); also cf. The Four 
Books (Shang-hai: Chinese 
Books Co., 1930), pp. 51f. 

9 Thomas Whitney, Confucius, 
the Secret of His Mighty In- 
fluence (Chicago: privately 
published, 1901). Copy is in 


The Lost Churches of China 

University of Chicago Li- 

10 Y. C. Yang, Chinas Religious 
Heritage (New York: Abing- 
don-Cokesbury Press, 1943), 
p. 47. 

P- Sir Reginald F. Johnston, 
Confucianism and Modern 
China (New York: D, Apple- 
ton-Centmry Co., Inc., 1935). 

" 12 Creel, Confucius, the Man 
and the Myth. 

13 Ssu Shu, XV, 133. 

14 Edmund Davison Soper, The 
Religions of Mankind (New 
York: The Abingdon Press, 

15 Ssu Shu, IV, 129. 

16 The Chinese Recorder 
(1899). Cf. C. S. Medhurst, 
"Tao Teh King," 

>1T Paul Cams, Lao Tze*s Tao 
Teh King (Chicago: The 
Open Court Publishing Com- 
pany, 1898). 

18 Leon Weiger, "Moral Tenets 
and Customs in China,"' Chine 
moderne, 10 vols. (Hsien- 
hsien: Mission Catholique, 

19 The Fenchow (Fenchow, 
Shan-si: 1924), Vol. VI, Au- 
gust, " Peaceful Old Age," by 
Po Chu-I, tr. by Arthur W. 

^ Paul Carus, Selections from 
Lao Tzes Tao Teh King, 
Canon of Reason and Virtue 
(Chicago: The Open Court 
Publishing Company, 1903). 
Cf. the Preface. 

21 Legge, op, cit., p. 39. 

22 Johnston, Confucianism and 
Modern China. 

23 Adolf Harnack, Die Mission 
und Ausbreitung des Chris- 
tentums in den ersten drei 
Jahrhunderten (Leipzig: J. C. 
Hinrichs, 1906), I, If. 

24 The Chinese Recorder, LVII, 

25 Harvard Journal of Asiatic 
Studies (April, 1936). Cf. 
article by W. E. Hocking. 
Also Hocking, Living Reli- 
gions, p. 76. 

26 Richard Wilhelm, Confucius 
and Confucianism (New 
York: Harcourt, Brace & 
Company, Inc., 1931), pp. 
154, 155. 

27 Henry T. Hodgkin, Living 
Issues in China (New York: 
Friendship Press, 1932), p. , 
168; and Sheldon Cheney, 
Men Who Have Walked with 
God (New York: Alfred A. 
Knopf, Inc., 1946), "The 
Poet Lao Tse,* pp. 1-37. 


1 The Chinese Recorder, LXI 
(1929), 252. 

^ Eusebius, Ecclesiastical His- 
tory y ed. by Cureton (Lon- 
don: 1861), I, 43. Also cf. 
Abraham Yohannan, The 
Death of a Nation (New 
York: C. P. Putnam's Sons, 
1916), pp. 34-36. 

8 Cf . Labourt, Le Christianisme 

dans- T empire perse (Paris: 

John Stewart, Nestorian Mis- 
sionary Enterprise (Edin- 
burgh: T. T. Clark); Badg- 
er, The Nestorians and Their 
Rituals, 2 vols. (New York: 
1852), I, 179; Payne Smith, 
Thesaurus Syriacus (London: 
1879); and Layard, Nineveh 



and Its Remains (New York: 

5 Eusebius, op, cit., I, 43. 

6 Gibbon, Decline and Fall of 
the Roman Empire (London: 

7 Bishop W. M. Pakenham- 
Walsh, Nestorius and the 
Nestorian Mission in China 
(Shang-hai: American Presby- 
terian Mission Press, 1908), 
p. 6. 

8 Ibid., p. 8. Also Gibbon, op. 

9 Kenneth Scott Latourette, A 
History of Christian Missions 
in China (New York: The 
Macmillan Company, 1929). 

Journal asiatique (Novem- 
ber-December, 1911). Cf . 
article by Chavannes and 

1 H. Pinard de la Boullaye, S.J., 
L'Etude comparSe^ des reli- 
gions, 2 vols. (Paris: Gabriel 
Beauchesne, 1922-1925 ) , 
Vol. I, Chapter III; and A. V. 
Williams Jackson, Researches 
in Manichaeism (New York: 
Columbia University Press, 
1932), cf. Chapter III, 
para. i. 

2 Roland H. Bainton, The 
Church of Our Fathers (New 
York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 
1941), p. 59. 

- 3 Gibbon, op. cit. 

14 B. J. Kidd," The Churches of 
Eastern Christendom (Lon- 
don: Faith Press, Ltd., 1927), 
p. 18. 

L5 The Chinese Recorder, LXI 
(1929), "The Long Planting 
of Christianity in China,'* 252. 

16 P. Y. Saeki, The Nestorian 
Documents and Relics in 
China (Tokyo: Maxuzen 
Company, Ltd., 1937), p. 85. 

17 Pakenham- Walsh, op. tit., 
p. 9. 

18 Varietes- sinologiques, No. 12, 
" La Stele chretienne de Si- 
ngan-fou," par Le P. Henri 
Havret, S.J. (Chang-hai: Im- 
primerie de la Mission Cath- 

( olique, 1897). 
f Mrs. C. E. Couling, The 

Luminous Religion (London: 

Carey Press, 1925). 
-** John Foster, The Church of 

the Tang Dynasty (London: 

S. P. C. K., 1939), p. 35. 

21 Quoted by Pakenham-Walsh, 
op. cit., p. 11. 

22 Henri Havret, op. cit. 

123 Daniello Barton, History of 
the Life and Institutions of 
St. Ignatius de Loyola (New 
York: E. Dunigan & Bros., 

24 Saeki, op. cit. 

25 George H. Dunne, S.J., * Jes- 
uits in China in the Last 
Days of the Mings " (Unpub- 
lished Ph.D. thesis, Univer- 
sity of Chicago), p. 342. 

26 A. C. Moule, Christians in 
China Before the Year 1550 
(London: Society for Pro- 
moting Christian Knowledge, 

27 Saeki, op. cit., p. 12. 

28 Foster, op. cit. 

29 Saeki, op. cit. 

30 Moule, Christians in China. 

31 Saeki, op. cit., p. 85. 

32 Yohannan, op. cit., p. 70. 

33 Pakenham-Walsh, op. cit., 
pp. 16 

84 Saeki, op. cit. 

35 W. C. Emhardt and G. M. 
Lamsa, The Oldest Christian 
People (New York: The Mac- 
millan Company, 1926). 

36 Pakenham-Walsh, op. cit. 9 p. 


The Lost Churches of China 

37 Stewart, op. cit., p. 185. Also 
A Church on Fire (Edin- 
burgh: T. &T. Clark). 

38 Mrs. C. E. Couling, op. cit. 

39 Moule, Christians in China. 

40 Bibliotheque Rationale. Cf. 
" Collection Pelliot," No. 

41 Moule, Christians in China. 

42 Journal asiatique (Novem- 
ber-December, 1886 ). Cf . 
article by Rubens DuvaL 
Also Deveria, Notes tfepi- 
graphie mongole-chinoise, p. 

43 Revue des missions au Chine 
et au Congo (Mars, 1891), 
No. 26; and Le Bulletin Cath- 
olique de Peking (1924), pp. 

44 A. C. Moule, Nestorians in 
China, Some Corrections and 
Additions (London: The 
China Society, 1940), p. 28; 
Le Bulletin Catholique de 
Peking (Mai, 1941), p. 289; 
Bulletin of the John Rylands 
Library (Manchester: July, 
1925), cf. A. Mingana, The 
Early Spread of Christianity; 
New China Review (July 
and October, 1919), pp. 321 
and 522. 

45 Toung Pao 3 XXVIII (1931), 
pp. 78 and 81. 

46 Saeki, op cit., pp. 125-141. 

47 Journal of the North China 
Branch of the Royal Asiatic 
Society (1929). Cf. Hu Shih, 
" The Establishment of Con- 
fucianism as a State Religion 
During the Han Dynasty," 
pp. 20, 21. 

48 Harvard Tercentenary Publi- 
cations: Independence, Con- 
vergence, and Borrowing 
( Cambridge : Harvard Uni- 
versity Press, 1937). C Hu 

Shih, " The Indianization 
of China: A Case Study in 
Cultural Borrowing," p. 

49 Pakenham-Walsh, op. cit., 
p. 11. 

50 Foster, op. cit., pp. 67, 68. 

51 J. Percy Bruce, Chu Hsi and 
His Masters (London: Probs- 
thain & Co., 1923). 

52 ,L. Carrington Goodrich, A 
Short History of the Chinese 
People (New York and Lon- 
don: Harper & Brothers, 
1943), p. 132. 

53 Foster, op. cit., pp. 159-160. 

54 Saeki, op. cit., p. 15. 

55 Goodrich, op. cit.,^. 130. 

56 Emhardt and Lamsa, op. cit., 
p. 71. 

57 Saeki, op. cit. y p. 473. 

58 Chavannes and Pelliot, Un 
Traite mamcheen retrouve en 

59 Foster, op. cit., p. 162. 

w K. S. Latourette, The Chi- 
nese, Their History and Cul- 
ture, 2 vols. (New York: The 
Macmillan Company, 1942), 
I, 209. 

61 Karl A. Wittfogel and Feng 
Chia-sheng, History of the 
Chinese Society, Liao (907- 
1125) (Philadelphia: Ameri- 
can Philosophical Society, 

62 Cf. Bruce, op. cit 

63 Gabriel Ferrand, Relations de 
voyages et textes geogra- 
phiques, ardbes, persians et 
turks relatifs a ^Extreme- 
Orient du VHIe au XVIIIe 
siecles (Paris: 1913-1914), 
p. 129. 

64 Cf. Arthur H. Smith, China 
in Convulsion, 2 vols. (New 
York: Fleming H. Hevell 
Company, 1901). 




1 Monumenta Germaniae His- 
torica ( Hannover : 1868), 
XX, 83 f . 

2 Saeki, op. cit. 

3 Ibid.; Sinological Series, No. 
1 (London: The China So- 
ciety, 1940), Moule, Nesto- 
rians in China, Some Correc- 
tions and Additions, p. 22; 
The Chinese Recorder 
(1930), pp. 37-40 and 251- 
252; Revue des arts asiatiques 
(1931), VII, 1, cf. article by 
Pelliot; Cheeloo University 
Journal ( Tsinan-f u : 1935 ) , 
cf. article by J. M. Menzies. 

* F. Mostaert, " Ordosica " 
(Bulletin of the Catholic Uni- 
versity of Pe-king, 1934). 

5 Saeki, op. cit. 

6 Moule, Christians in China, 
Chapter VIII. 

7 Ibid., p. 659. 

8 Bar Hebraeus, Chronicon 
Eccles., 3 vols., ed. by^Ab- 
beloose and Lamy (Lovanii: 
1872-1877), pp. 375 . 

J Cf. P. S. Hsiang, The Catho- 
'lic Missions in China During 
the Middle Ages (Washing- 
ton: The Catholic University 
of America Press, 1949). 

10 Layard, op. cit., p. 79. 

11 Emhardt and Lamsa, op. cit, 
p. 77. 

5?, W. Durant, The Age of Faith 
(New York: Simon & Schus- 
ter, Inc., 1950). 

13 James A. Montgomery, His- 
tory of Jahballaha III (New 
York: Columbia University 
Press, 1927). 

14 Hsiang, op. cit. 

^ 5 Sir Henry H. Howorth, His- 
tory of the Mongols (London: 

Longmans, Green & Co,, 

16 Journal asiatique, Series IX, 
Vol. 8 3 94 f. Cf. article 
by Deveria; also The Journey 
of William of Rubruck, tr. 
by W. W. Rockhill (London: 
Hakluyt Society, 1900). 

1T Gustav Schnurer, Kirche und 
Kultur im Mittelalter (Pader- 
born: Ferdinand Schoningh, 
1924), pp. 11 and 407. 

18 Saeki, op. cit. 9 p. 41. 

19 D. Herbelot, BiUiotheque 
orientale (Paris: 1781), I, 6. 

20 Cf. Montgomery, op. cit.; 
Rockhill, op. cit.; Moule, 
Christians in China, p. 108; 
Emhardt and Lamsa, op. cit. y 
p. 67; and W. E. Soothill, 
China and the West (Ox- 
ford: 1925). 

21 Kidd, The Churches of East- 
ern Christendom., pp. 400 f. 

22 Chabot, Supplement a I'his- 
toire de Mar Jaballaha III 
(Paris: E. Leroux, 1895), 
p. 2; also Memoir es de TAcad. 
des Inscr. et Belles-lettres, 2 e 
partie, p. 139. 

23 Moule, Christians in China. 

24 Frederick Hirth, China and 
the Roman Orient (Shang- 
hai: Kelly and Walsh, 1885). 

25 Pakenham-Walsh, op. cit. 9 
p. 20. 

26 Quoted by Moule, Christians 
in China, from Papal Bulls in 
Raynaldus, 1307, No. 20. 

27 Moule, ibid., p. 207. 

28 Cf. Jean-Marie Sedes, His- 
toire des missions frangaises 
(Paris: Presses Universitaires 
de France, 1950); also H. P. 
de la Boullaye, op. cit. 


The Lost Churches of China 

29 Goodrich, op. cit. 

* Donald Attwater/f/ie Chris- 
tian Churches of the East, 
2 vols. (Milwaukee: Bruce 
Publishing Company, 1947), 
II, 187. 

31 Cambridge Medieval History, 
Vol. VII. Cf . " The Suppres- 
sion of the Order of the Tem- 
ple." Also Encyclopaedia Bri- 
tannica, llth ed., XXVI, 
591 f. 

32 Attwater, op. cit., II, 187. 

ss United Nations Series, China, 
ed. by H. F. MacNair (Berke- 
ley: University of California 
Press, 1946 ), cf. article by 
F. H. Michael, p. 102; also 
Yohannan, op. cit. 

34 Pakenham- Walsh, op. cit., 
p. 23. 

35 Yohannan, op. cit. 

36 Saeki, op. cit. 

37 Latourette, The Chinese, I, 

38 Sinica Franciscana. Cf . " Re- 
lationes at Epistolas Fratram 
Minorum," II, 180. 

29 Cf. Nathan Soderblom, Das 
Werden des Gottesglaubens 
(Leipzig: J. C. Hinriehs, 

40 Cf. Nathan Soderblom, The 
Living God (London; Oxford 
University Press, 1933), p. 

^ Ibid., p. 379. 


1 .Georges Goyau, Missions et 
mismonaires (Paris: Librairie 
Bloud et Gay, 1931). English 
text tr. by F. M. Dreves 
(Edinburgh: Sands & Co., 
Ltd., 1932), p. 45. 

^Orestes Ferrara, The Borgia 
Pope, Alexander the Sixth 
(New York: Sheed & Ward, 
Inc., 1940). 

3 Goyau, op. cit,, pp. 43 

* Levy Maria Jordao, Bullar- 
ium patronatus Portugalliae 
regum, in ecclesiis Africae, 
Asiae atque Oceaniae bullas 
brevia, epistolas, decreta ac- 
taque S. Sedis ab Alexandra 
III, ad hoc usque appectens 
(OMsipone: Typographia Na- 
tionali, 1868), I, 106 f. 

5 Ludwig von Pastor, The His- 
tory of the Popes, from the 
Close of the Middle Ages, 
ed. by Frederick Ignatius 
Antrobus, 3 vols. (St. Louis: 
B. Herder, 1898), III, 489. 

6 Alfons Vath, Das Bild der 
Weltkirche, Akkomodation 
und Europaismus in Wandel 
der Jahrhunderte und in der 
neuen Zeit (Hannover: Jo- 
seph Giesel, 1932), p. 36. 

7 Louis Brehier, L'Eglise et 
TOrient au moyen dge: les 
croisades (Paris: V. Lecoffre, 
J. Gabalda et Cie., 1928). 

8 Attwater, op. cit., I, 211, 212. 

9 Vath, Das Bild, p. 47. 

10 Varietes sinologiques, No. 58 
(Shang-hai: Imprimerie de la 
Mission Cathofique, 1932). 
Cf. Louis Pfister, S.J., " No- 
tices biographiques et bibH- 
ographiques sur les Jesuites 
de Pancienne Mission Chi- 
noise, 1552-1773." 

11 Ibid. 

13 C. A. Montalto de Jesus, 
Historic Macao (Hong-kong: 
Kelly and Walsh, 1902). 

13 Chinese Social and Political 
Review (1933), Vol. II. Cf. 



Chang Teh-ch'ang, " Mari- 
time Trade at Canton During 
the Ming Dynasty." 

14 Matteo Ricci, Opere Storiche, 
ed. by Pietro Tacchi-Venturi 
(Macerata: Giorgetti, 1911- 

Xfr L. Delplace, Le Catholicisme 
au Japon, 2 vols. (Braxelles: 
A. Dewit, 1909-1910). 

16 Francisco Javier Montalban, 
El Patronato espanol y la 
conquista de Filipinos, con 
documentor del archivo gen- 
eral de Indias (Burgos: El 
Siglo de las Missionies, 1930). 

17 Henri Bernard, Aux Portes de 
la Chine (Tien-tsin: Hautes 
Etudes, 1933). Cf. pp. 102 
and 113. 

18 Latourette, The Chinese. 

19 Dunne, op. cit., cf. p. 60, 

20 Bernard, op. cit., p. 131. 

21 Ibid., p. 401. 

^ P. Adelhelm Jann, Die katho- 
lischen Missionen in Indien, 
China und Japan (Pader- 
born: P. Schoningh, 1915), 
p. 183. 

23 Cf. Dunne, op. cit. 

24 Allesandro Valignano, Monu- 
menta Xaveriana ex auto- 
graphis vel ex antiquoribus 
exemplfe collecta (Matriti: 
typis Augustini Avrial, 1899) . 

25 Ricci, op. cit., II, 397. 

26 Ibid., II, 413. 

27 Ibid. 

28 Alonzo Perez, Archivum 
Franciscanum historicum 
(Prope Florentiam: Ad Claras 
Aquas, 1908), XVI, 405 f. 

29 Henri Bernard, Le Pere Mat- 
thieu Ricci et la societe chi- 
noise de son temps 1552 
1610, 2 vols. (Tien-tsin; 
Hautes Etudes, 1937). 

30 Ricci, op. cit., II, 118. 

31 Ibid. 

32 Ibid., II, 207. 

33 Symposium on Chinese Cul- 
ture, ed. by Mrs. S. C. Zen 
(Shang-hai: 1931). Cf. " Re- 
ligion and Philosophy in Chi- 
nese History/' article by Hu 

34 Ibid. 

S5 Soderblom, Das Werden des 
Gottesglaubens, VI, 180-235. 

36 Harvard Tercentenary Publi- 
cations: Independence, Con- 
vergence, and Borrowing, p. 
266, * The Royal Tombs of 
An Yang," by Pelliot. 

37 Creel, The Birth of China, 
pp. 182-184. 

38 Gaetan Bernonville, Les ]es- 
uites (Paris: Bernard Or asset, 

39 Bernard, Le Pere Matthieu 
Ricci, I, 337. 

40 Arnold H. Rowbotham, Mis- 
sionary and Mandarin The 
Jesuits at the Court of Peking 
(Berkeley: University of Cali- 
fornia Press, 1942). 

41 Ricci, op. cit., I, 85. 

42 Quoted by Dunne, op. cit., 
p. 124. 

43 H. B. Morse and H. F. Mac- 
Nair, "Far Eastern Interna- 
tional Relations (Boston: 
Houghton Mifflin Company, 
1931), pp. 412 f. 

* Hu Shih, The Chinese Renais- 
sance (Chicago: University of 
Chicago Press, 1935), p. 28. 

45 Goodrich, A Short History of 
the Chinese People, p. 208. 

46 Chinese Bulletin of the Na- 
tional Library of Peking 
(1935), No. 11. Cf. " TungHn 
and Fushe, China^s Political 
Parties in the Ming Dynasty," 
by Chi Tze. 

47 S. Wells Williams, The Mid- 


The Lost Churches of China 

die Kingdom, a Survey of the 
Geography, Government, Lit- 
erature, Social Life, Arts, and 
History of the Chinese Em- 
pire and Its Inhabitants, 2 
vols. (New York: Scribners, 
1883), II, 330, : Rene Fulop- 
Miller, The Power and Secret ' 
of the Jesuits, tr. by F. S. 
Flint and D. F. Tait (New 
York: The Viking Press, Inc., 
1930), p. 245; A. Reville, La 
Religion chinoise (Paris: Li- 
brairie Fischbacher, 1889), 
p. 670. 

48 Ricci, op. cit., I, 494 and II, 

43 Alvarez Semedo, Histoire uni- 
verselle de la Chine. Trad, 
nouvellement en francois 
(Lyons: P. Prost, 1667), p. 

50 Eminent Chinese of the 
Ch'ing Period* ed. by Arthur 
W. Hummel, 2 vols. (Wash- 
ington: Library of Congress, 
U.S. Government Printing 
Office, 1943-1944). Cf. Vol. 
II, "Yang Lien." 

51 Histoire de ce qui sest passe 
en royaumes d'Ethiopie, en 
fannee 1626, jusquau mois 
de mars. 1627, et de la Chine, 
de I'annee 1625 jusques en 
fevrier de 1625. Tirees des 
lettres addressees au R. Pere 
General de la Compagnie de 
lesus. Tr. de Fitalien en fran- 
ais par un Pere de la meme 
Compagnie (Paris: Sebastian 
Crarnoisy, 1679). 

52 Dunne, op. cit., p. 599. 

53 Sinica Franciscans (Colle- 
gium S. Bonaventurae, 1929- 
1936), II, 225 , "Relacion 
del viaje al Reino de la 
Gran China/* 

54 Ibid., Ill, 90, "Relationes et 

Epistolas Fratrum Minorum." 

55 Ibid., II, 250. 

56 Dunne, op. cit., pp. 438 f. 

57 Ibid., p. 405. 

58 Varietes sinologiques, No. 58. 

59 Otto Maas, Die Wiederer- 
offnung der Franziskanermis- 
sion in China in der Neuzeit 
(Miinster in Westfalen: Asch- 
endorff, 1926). Cf. p. 125. 

60 The Tso Shu: Hsi-yang hsin- 
fa li-hsu. A Collection of 
Memorials and Petitions to 
the Emperor with His Re- 
sponses. 4 vols. 

61 Johann Adam SchaU von Bell, 
Historica relatio de ortu et 
progressu fidei orthodoxa e in 
regno Chinensi per mission- 
arios Societatis Jesu ab anno 
1581 usque ad annum 1669 
(Ratisbonae: August Jenck- 
witz, 1672), p. 114. 

62 Alfons Vath, Johann Adam 
Schall von Bell, Missioner in 
China, kaiserliche Astronom 
und Rategeber am Hofe von 
Peking, 1592-1666 (Koln: 
J. P. Bochem, 1933), p. 159. 

63 Jan Nieuhoff, Le Voyage des 
ambassadeurs de la Com- 
pagnie Hollandoise des- Indes 
Orientates vers le Grand 
Chan de Tartarie et extrait 
du voyage des Hollandois en- 
voy ez les annees 1650 et 
1657 en qualite d* ambassa- 
deurs vers Tempereur des 
Tartares, maintenant maistre 
de la Chine. Tr. M. Thevenot 
(Paris: Moette, 1696). 

6 * Ibid. 

65 Vath, Missioner in China, 
p. 159. 


67 Seraphin Convreur, Choix de 
documents, lettres officielles, 
proclamations, edits, memori- 



aux, inscriptions (Ho-kien- 

fou: Mission Catholique, 

1901), p. 635. 
68 Eminent Chinese, Vol. I. 
^ Ibid., Vol. II 9 "Yang Kuang- 


70 The Chinese Recorder 
(1929), p. 14. 

71 Ibid. 

72 Jean-Marie Secies, op. cit., pp. 
34, 35. 

7S Goodrich, op. cit., p. 224. 


I The Chinese Recorder 
(1929), pp. 254, 255. 

~ 2 ~ Maurice Collis, Foreign Mud 
(London: Faber & Faber, 
Ltd., 1950; Knopf, N.Y.), 

3 William Milne, Restrospect 
of the First Ten 'Years of the 
Protestant Mission to China 
(Malacca: Anglo-Chinese 
Press, 1820), pp. 334-338. 

4 China Centenary Mission 
Conference Records- (New 
York: American Tract So- 
ciety, 1907). 

5 William Ernest Hocking, 
Permanence and Change in 
Church and Mission, address 
at conference of Modern 
Missions Movement, Roches- 
ter Theological Seminary, 
1935. Privately published 
(Chicago: Modern Missions 
Movement, 1935). 

6 Collis, op. cit. 

7 Morse and MacNair, op. cit. 

8 Collis, op. cit., p. 76. 

9 Ibid., pp. 31-33. 
10 Ibid., pp. 213, 214. 

II The Chinese Repository, ed. 
by Robert Morrison (Can- 
ton: 1839), I, 234. 

12 Hansard. Cf . " The Opium 
Debate," Parliamentary De- 
bates, Vols. 52-54. 

H R. J. Cruikshank, Charles 
Dickens and Early Victorian 
England (New York: Chanti- 
cleer Press, Inc., 1949). 

14 Latourette, The Chinese. 

15 The Chinese Recorder (July, 
1930), LXI, 403-408. 

16 Ibid., p. 409. 

17 Cf. Morse and MacNair, op. 

18 Eminent Chinese, p. 361. 

19 Latourette, The Chinese. 

20 United Nations Series, China. 
Cf. Chapter XIX. 

21 Jean-Marie Sedes, op. cit. 

22 The Chinese Recorder (July, 
1930). Cf. "The Negotia- 
tions Leading to the Mission- 
ary Rights in the Sino-Ameri- 
can Treaty/' by Padelford, 
LXI, 443 

23 Arthur H. Smith, China in 
Convulsion. Cf . Vol. I, Chap- 
ter IV. 

24 Ibid., Vol. I, Chapter V. 

25 Ibid., I, 49. 

26 The Chinese Recorder (No- 
vember, 1899). 

27 Memorandum of Tsung Li- 
yamen to French Govern- 

28 The Chinese Recorder (Feb- 
ruary, 1895). Cf. article by 
Noyes, ** Five Storms of 

29 A. H. Smith, China in Con- 
vulsion, I, 58. 

30 S. Wells Williams, op. cit., 
II, 463 f . 

31 A. H. Smith, China in Con- 
! . vukion, I, 133 f. 

3 ^J. C. P. Bland and E. T. 
Backhouse, China Under the 


The Lost Churches of China 

Empress Dowager (Philadel- 
phia: J. B. Lippincott Com- 
pany, 1910). 

33 Morse and MacNair, op. cit. 

34 Cf. A. H. Smith, China in 
Convulsion; E. H. Edwards,, 
Fire and Sword in Shansi 
(Edinburgh and London: OH- 
phant Anderson and Ferrier, 
1903); Marshall Broomhall, 
Martyred Missionaries of the 
China Inland Mission with a 
Record of the Perils and Suf- 
ferings of Those Who Es- 
caped (London: China In- 
land Mission, 1901). 

35 Edwards, op. cit. 

36 A. H. Smith, China in Con- 
vulsion, II, 729. 

37 Ibid., pp. 734, 735. 

38 The Chinese Recorder 
(1930), p. 441. 

39 Ibid., p. 447. 

40 Johnston, op. cit. 

41 Edinburgh Reports. Report 
of the International Mission- 
ary Conference, 1910 (Lon- 
don and New York: Interna- 

tional Missionary Council), 
VII, 95 . 

42 Johnston, op. cit. 

43 United Nations Series, China, 
IX, 129. 

44 Latourette, The Chinese. 

45 The Chinese Repository, edi- 
torial by Robert Morrison 
(May, 1832). 

46 A. H. Smith, China in Con- 

47 Cf . Gustav Warneck, Modern 
Missions and Culture, tr. by 
Thomas Smith (Edinburgh: 
James Gemmell, 1888). 

48 This hymn by Bishop Regi- 
nald Heber is found in most 

49 Y. C. Yang, op. cit., pp. 18 f. 
50 .William H. P. Faunce, The 

Social Aspects of Foreign 
Missions (New York: Mis- 
sionary Education Move- 
ment, 1914), p. 103. 
51 WilheLn Pauck, The Heritage 
of the Reformation (Boston: 
The Beacon Press, 1950), p. 


1 Cambridge Medieval History, 
VII, 319 f. and 791. 

2 The Christian Century (Jan- 
uary, 1933). - 

3 Sun Yat-sen, San Min Chu I 
The Three Principles of the 
People's Livelihood, tr. by 
Frank W. Price (Shang-hai: 
Institute of Pacific Relations, 

4 Leonard Shih-lien Hsu, Sun 
Yat Sen, His Political and 
Social Ideals, trans, and an- 
noted by L. S. Hsu (Univer- 
sity of Southern California 
Press, 1933), p. 43. 

5 The New York Times (June 

24, 1949). 

6 L. M. Outerbridge, " The 
Transformation of Religious 
Concepts in North China " 
(Unpublished Master's dis- 
sertation, Divinity School, 
University of Chicago, 1933). 

7 Ssu Shu The Four Classics, 
XX, 70. 

8 China (July, 1913), pp. 
662 f. 

9 Moule, The Chinese People 
(London: 1914). 

10 Johnston, op. cit. 

11 Ibid. 

12 Peking Daily News (August 
27, 1913). 



13 Johnston, op. cit. 

14 T. F. Romig, "The Agony 
of China," in World Faith 
in Action., ed. by C. T. Leber 
(New York: Boobs-Merrill 
Company, Inc., 1951), p. 

15 Morse and MacNair, op. cit. 

16 Ibid., p. 670. 

17 Johnston, op. cit. 

J 8 - Wen Han-kiang, The Chinese 
Student Movement, p. 104. 

19 Department of State, United 
States Relations with China 
(Washington: U.S. Govern- 
ment Printing Office, 1949). 
Cf. Annex 33, p. 519. 

20 Ibid. 

21 United Nations Series, China, 
X, 151. 

22 U. S. Relations with China, 
Chapter VIII, No. 185, pp. 

23 Herbert Owen Chapman, 
The Chinese Revolution, 
1926-1927 (London: Con- 
stable & Co., 1928). 

24 Ibid. 

25 U. S. Relations with China. 
Cf. "Letter of Transmittal," 
pp. vii xii. 

26 U. S. Relations with China, 
pp. 99, 100. 

27 Ibid., p. 116. 

2 * Ibid. Cf. Annex 33, pp. 518, 

29 Ibid., IV, 113. 

30 Ibid. Cf. pp. 113 and 519. 

31 Ibid., IV, 116 f. 

32 Ibid., p. 117. 

33 Ibid., p. 114; and Time, Vol. 
LIX, No. 6, Feb. 11, 1952, 
p. 36. 

34 Ibid., p. 115. 

35 Ibid., Chap. VIII, Annex No. 
185, pp. 1042-1054. 

86 Ibid., p. 173. 

37 Ibid., pp. 132-214. 

38 Ibid., pp. 1042 f. 

39 South China Sunday Post 
(January 1, 1950). 

40 South China Sunday Post 
(January 1, 1950). 


1 The Chinese Recorder 
(1929), pp. 276 and 611. 

2 " News Release/' Internation- 
al Missionary Council (New 
York: July 14, 1933). 

3 The Church (Shang-hai: The 
Church of Christ in China), 
February, 1950. 

4 Hongkong Standard (January 
6, 1951), III, 5. 

5 Monthly Report (Shang-hai: 
December, 1949). 

6 The Journal of the North 
China Branch of the Royal 
Asiatic Society (1933). Cf. 
article by M. Freeman, 
LXIV, 70. 

7 The Chinese Recorder 

(1926), p. 292. 
* Ibid., LX, 254, 255. 
9 University of Chicago Round 

Table (December 23, 1951), 


10 The Chinese Recorder 
(1929), LX, 17. 

11 Report of the Fenchow Sta- 
tion, Shansi (1914). 

12 Hocking, Living Religions. 

13 Temple, Essays, p. 173. 

14 Johnston, op. cit., p. 235. 

15 The University of Toronto 
Quarterly (October, 1934). 
Cf . article by William Tem- 
ple, " Back to Unity," p. 19. 

16 The Church (Shang-hai: 
December, 1949). 


The Lost Churches of China 

17 The United Church Observer 
(Toronto: May 15, 1950), p. 

18 Monthly Report (Shang-hai: 
December, 1949) ; The Chris- 
tian Century (March 29, 
1950), p. 398, 

19 Mao Tse-tung, New Democ- 
racy (Shang-hai: Rapid Cur- 
rent Publishing Company, 

20 Ibid., p. 52. 

21 The Church in Red China. 
Collection of notes from 
many missionaries, published 
in Hong-kong, 1950. 

22 Mao Tse-tung, On People's 
Democratic Dictatorship (Pe- 
king: New China News 
Agency, 1949), pp. 151 

23 Earl H. Ballon, Peiping Bul- 
letin, No. 3, privately print- 

24 Cf. The Christian Century 
(February 25, 1950), p. 242. 

25 Dr. H. S. G, Garven, Glas- 
gow University, in a state- 
ment to the author (Decem- 
ber, 1949). 

26 Canadian Far Eastern News 
Letter. Cf . Willmotfs " News 
Notes from West China." 

27 Outerbridge, The Lost 
Churches of China, Ph.D. 
thesis, University of Chicago 
library, Appendix I 

28 Appendixes 4 and 5. 

29 Appendix 1. 

30 The Christian Century 
(March 2 and September 14, 
1949), Vol. 66, pp. 265 and 

31 Tien Feng (Tien-tsin: May 
4, 1950); Kung Pao (Shang- 
hai: June, 1950); New China 
News Agency (Pe-king: May 

29, 1950), Appendix 3. 
82 Outerbridge, The Lost 
Churches of China, Ph.D. 
thesis, University of Chicago 
library, Appendix H. 

33 The United Church Observer 
(February 15, 1951). 

34 Ta Kung Pao (Hong-kong, 
April 24, 1951). 

35 Ibid. (April 27, 1950), and 
Appendix 4. 

36 Tien Feng (May 8, 1951), 
and Appendix 5. 

37 Cf. The Church (Feb., 1950). 

38 Appendix 5. 

39 Associated Press (Hong- 
kong, June 21, 1951). 

40 The Chicago Tribune (June 
4, 1951). 

41 Ibid. (July 17, 1951). 

42 China Missionary Bulletin, 
cum Approbatione Ecclesias- 
tica (Hong-kong: 1950), II, 
iii, 264. 

43 Ibid. y p. 258. 

44 The New York Times (July 
28, 1951). 

45 The Chicago Tribune (March 
18, 1951). 

46 Ibid. (April 13, 1951). 

47 Time (Aug. 20, 1951), p. 40. 

48 Chicago Daily News } May 8, 
1952. Statistics released by 
China committee of the For- 
eign Missions Division of the 
National Council of the 
Churches of Christ in the 
U.S.A. Also cf. Life, May 19, 
1952, pp. 51-55. 

49 The Sun-Times, Chicago, 
June 1, 1952, also cf. Time, 
April 7, 1952. 

50 Cf. Re-thinking Missions, ed. 
by William Ernest Hocking 
(New York: Harper & Broth- 
ers, 1933), Chapter III. 




1 Wen Han-kiang, The Chinese 
Student Movement, p, 73. 

2 Dr. Hugh S. G. Garven, Glas- 
gow University, in letter to 
author (December, 1949). 

3 Toynbee, op. cit, p. 348. 

4 Scottish Journal of Theology 
(March, 1951), Vol. IV, No. 
1. Cf. article by Florovsky. 

5 Christianity and Crisis (Jan- 
uary 23, 1950). 

6 Cf. Appendixes 2, 3, 4, and 5. 
-, 7 Appendix 3. 

8 H. Butterfield, Christianity 
and History (New York: 
Charles Scribner's Sons, 
1950), p. 113. 

9 Joachim Wach, Sociology of 
Religion (Chicago: Univer- 
sity of Chicago Press, 1943), 
pp. 380, 381. 

10 Cf. Appendixes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 

11 Cf. Appendix 3. 

12 Time, special section on 
China (June 18, 1951). 

13 The Christian Century (Au- 
gust 15, 1951), ed., p. 934. 

14 Wach, Sociology of Religion, 
p. 378. 

15 Related to the author and 
quoted in The Missionary 
Herald, Vol. CXVII. 

16 The British Weekly (March 
30, 1933). 

17 William Temple, Nature, Man 
and God (London: Macmil- 
lan and Co., Ltd., 1935). 

18 Henry Knox Sherrill, Presid- 
ing Bishop of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in the 
United States of America. 

19 Arthur Marmorstein, Studies 

in Jewish Theology, ed. by 
J. Rabbinowitz and M. S. 
Lew (London: Oxford Uni- 
versity Press, 1950), p. 117. 

20 Leon Weiger, Histoire des 
croyances. Chine moderne, 
10 vols. (Hsien-hsien: Mis- 
sion Catholique, 1920-1932) . 

21 William Temple, The Hope 
of a New World (London: 
Student Christian Movement, 
1940), pp. 22 

22 Laymens Foreign Missions 
Inquiry. Regional Reports of 
the Commission of Appraisal. 
China, ed. by Orville A. 
Petty (New York: Harper & 
Brothers, 1933). Cf, intro- 
duction by Rufus M. Jones, 
" Objectives of Protestant 
Missions ? 

23 Hocking, Permanence and 

.. 2 * Harold Hoeffding, The Phi- 
losophy of Religion. Tr. from 
German by B. E. Meyer 
(London: Macmillan & Co. 
Ltd, 1906). 

25 Morgan, op. cit. 

26 Laymens Foreign Missions 
Inquiry. Regional Reports.. 
China. Cf. Rufus M. Jones, 
II, xi. 

27 Hocking, Permanence and 

28 Daniel J, Fleming, op. cit., 
p. 171. 

29 Mohandas K. Gandhi, The 
Mahatma and the Missionary, 
edited by Clifford Manshardt 
(Chicago: Henry Regnery 
Co., 1949).